Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

The Light Stays On

If you ask me how if feels to go completely mad, I will tell you it’s a midnight sky at noon begging for stars to show it some light. It’s the sun showing its face at midnight, trying to take secrets from the moon. The madness is being able to run, but losing the desire to even stand, and running when anything or anyone comes close to knowing you. It’s being stuck inside a wall that only holds the colorless things, hung perfectly with rust covered nails refusing to shine. It’s swimming in the ocean, not caring if the waves take you as their own, daring it to drown you and hoping you lose that dare.

Sitting in the company of your own thoughts like each one is a person you answer to.

The madness swirls inside like a dance you have perfected the steps to, while the wrong song plays in the background. But you dance anyway because you don’t hear the music anymore, only the voices that talk all at once until it becomes a scream only you can hear.

The madness is a million hands coming out of nowhere to pull you down until you fall and pushing you when you stand again.

Closing your eyes at night brings out the monsters who hold your eyes wide open to say, No… not tonight.

Waking up to start all over again, be alone again, a new day to lose it all again, keep being the strong one again. Pretend to have your shit together again, act as though it’s all fine again, perfect the fake smile again.

I guess it’s the madness that makes the slow death of your life seem perfectly normal. So, I am fine. Perfectly well in the emptiness of being my own best friend, holding that with the highest regard. Like conversations with friends that don’t exist, but we all laugh together and I can tell them anything.

I’m having the time of my life. Never been better. It’s a beautiful day. Surrounded by the ones who never left my side when I checked out. That’s what I tell myself in this empty room. That’s what I tell myself to keep the lights on. I’m only trying to keep the lights on a little longer. Conversations with myself makes it hurt less, but not really. I am keeping the lights on though and it feels a little like being held by someone who cares. So, I keep my eyes locked with that light and tell myself it will never leave. Until it burns out and leaves… like everything leaves without a goodbye or reason. And I say, goodbye and apologize for not being good enough. Then the room goes dark and I’m my own again, the friend who never left.

I should treat her better than I do. When the dark is all we have and the music has stopped, she sings songs to me, reminds me of a time when I didn’t rely on the lights to feed my soul that once was. She stays the same, doesn’t change or pretend she never knew me. She sings until I fall asleep and she knows my favorite songs. I will always love her for that.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


2 thoughts on “The Light Stays On”

  1. Madness, for all its seeming sameness from the outside, is such an intensely solitary and idiosyncratic [I’m feeling stumped here for the right word. thing? experience? state of being? process? affliction?]. Thank you, Stephanie, for so well putting into words something that so nearly defies description, much as I would wish it were not so, or only memory of a time now passed.

    Liked by 1 person

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