Balancing Act

Written by: AJ

Twelve kinds of empty

And three times too full

Your excess splashes over

Into my brimming mind

But I struggle to hold it,

like the African women

Walking with baskets

Upon their perfect posture

The burdens,

The balancing act

When things move to quick

the burdens you carry

Splashes to the floor

But leave no mark.

The tears evaporate

Before they touch.

They are all that could have been,

and nothing that will ever happen.

Somewhere in the middle,

Of this tug a war

Spanning the length of the equator

There is me; and then there is you.

I want to be closer.

We can meet in the middle,

in Ecuador perhaps.

The suns rays are stronger there.

We can lay, burn our skin,

With its poison, until,

It peels and as we shed those layers.

Maybe we’ll shed some of the scars;

The faded bruises

And we’ll sweat so much

We won’t be able to cry.

The weather stays warm there

Unlike these winters,

Where the trees lose their leaves.

The left behind skeletons

Mirror your body;

As the stress does all the eating

Your mouth and stomach refuse.

You get emptier than the old swing set

in your back yard

which haphazardly tilts to the left.

I wonder how no ones noticed yet.

Your fingertips trace my spine,

Connecting the bones.

As they explore the constellations

Nestled in the crook of my elbow

Or speckled across my nose and cheeks,

You don’t realize the nebulas

Of translucent bruises

Embedded into the muscle memory.

For that’s all that’s left.

The memories of love and hate,

Blurred by tear filled vision and shaky breaths.

Ribs are there to cage your lungs,

To hold your heart

But my breathing

Is still erratic enough

to shatter my bones

There’s not enough room

For the thoughts in my head

My lungs cannot drag enough air

There’s no room for oxygen in my head

And if my thoughts suffocate me

It wouldn’t be the worst thing to occur.

But like those African women,

Day after day

I’ll balance those burdens,

Upon my head.

Keep that perfect posture.

For there is no room for error

When it appears as though

your entire piece of the world

relies upon your ability

to carry out the balancing act.


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