Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Headlights like Stars

I never really learned how to be in love with living in this life that is constantly dying. There’s a scream just beneath my skin that never stops crying, makes me stronger each day with the way it teaches me how to die. And I have no right to feel this, no reason or rhyme for this heart breaking me open making me fall like it does. Sometimes I think there is a riddle just under my ribs wanting to be solved, needing to be pieced together until it makes sense of this mess. Until my chest is no longer weighed down with a pain searching for validation to explain the heaviness. I cannot carry it anymore, but it stays and it stays, pounding into me, waiting to break me. I feel it. The way it rises. The way it never settles and I haven’t slept for days. I take drives at night, finding comfort in the silence of the radio off. An open road of deep breaths between the sobbing, like the route to peace is somewhere close, when the headlights coming for me look like stars I want to taste. Hold them between my teeth as I wish one more time to stop feeling this. I picture myself floating, weightless across the sky, smiling and not remembering the times I died while still living. It looks like a picture of how perfect must feel, painted so softly with colors that look as though I have always been whole. Like a dance I never learned where every step is colored in as moments of my life when I felt nothing but happiness. As beautiful as that picture sounds, I never do taste those stars on the road or get the wishes my sadness begs me for. I always stop short, afraid of the impact of those lights that look like stars. Maybe I fear letting go of this heaviness I’ve carried my whole life, that my shoulders would miss the burden, or my heart may miss the ache of all I’ve ever known. So I lie down, wide awake, unresolved, and try to imagine a life that doesn’t keep calling my name from death’s mouth so tender… like a friend who has always been there. But that friend only stays to wait for the day when I give in to those stars and bleed until I don’t anymore. -Stephanie Bennett-Henry


5 thoughts on “Headlights like Stars”

  1. This, “that my shoulders would miss the burden” brings the question both personal and age old, “Who would I be without my pain?” There is a fear in that. Stephanie, you open doors.

    Liked by 1 person

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