Poetry: Bad

By: Elaine Body


Bone and fingers
And words on the tip of the tongue
Forgotten breaths and too many conquests
And the way you bled in the dark

You forgot to tie your mistakes in a knot
And now you’re unraveling
If you left your suitcases zipped you wouldn’t have lost your footing
Stop selling your breath to the world

There is no money to be made in bringing the dying breeds to life
Or trying—
Stop trying—
To bring them to their knees
They’ve forgotten long ago how to bend
Like trees minus the wind
And you need to do it more often
You need to bend

I know
You know
How to dance with the shadows
You’ve always found time for them
And I know it’s harder to let yourself go
With the lights on and the sun out
When there is no hiding in the dark
Stop hiding—

Dance in the open light
Dance in front of the mirror
There’s magic to be made in moving
And it’s time someone sees you
It’s time you see you
Because it’s rare that anyone knows how to bend these days
And what doesn’t bend breaks
What doesn’t bend breaks

Don’t let yourself break
Keep moving
Stop bending
For everyone but you
Shake off the words that linger
On the tip of your tongue
Stop selling your breath to the world
Just breathe


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