I wrap my anxiety around my body like a sweater
and drown in its molten softness.
This me forgets what bravery is, forgets
the blood red nails and a booming voice, forgets that rebirth
happens in front of an audience.
I destroy myself endlessly.
Watch me make a masterpiece.
If we are falling, we must fall to burn
and out of the ashes, rise. Keep
rising. For as long as it takes.
People like us, we
have a plan for the apocalypse.
I laugh and say, it’ll just be me and the cockroaches
at the end of the world.
We tripped into persisting.
No one ever told us that we couldn’t keep surviving.
I wish I could show you the way to laughing with abandon,
to the endless highway we take every single day, but even words are birds
and they must leave.
Instead, I say: Let me show you all the ways in which I have filled out,
and I don’t just mean my hips. I mean
this heart, which is somehow still beating, and this fear
I keep in the bridge of my nose, these bones that
grow heavier by the minute
but I am letting them.
You can only fight yourself so much, and God knows I tried.
Cigarette ash coated fingertips,
throwing up tequila and insecurity apologies
with my head held up by
I spoke of death like it’s a new world to uncover and I,
I am sorry for all the weight I put on your shoulders,
it was never yours to carry.
I talked about rebirth but forgot to
I spoke of softness but forgot that I am the first place
to give my feet a rest.
I proclaimed I was a phoenix and forgot
that I did not rise out of water.
This is rebirth.
Every inch of the knife.
I never forgot how to defeat it. But I never remembered
that it must be done.
We tripped into persisting by Lana Rafaela
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