24th

one

i can’t breathe

two

i can’t stop the tears

or breathe

three

i paste on a smile

take shallow breaths by sheer will

rejoin the world

as a stranger

four

i take a deep breath

exhale too

without wanting to throw up

five

forever seems impossible

joy quavers

a distant memory

six

today i can’t do it

tomorrow seems unlikely

seven

i laugh sometimes

i stay sober

by choice

late at night

i am flooded with remembering

left gasping for air

eight

i wonder if i am alone

in all this grief

nine

i smile more

and often mean it

my memory is still sharp

like a knife

that slips into my heart

when i forget 

and let the armor fall

my head is clear

my heart remains

where it was

when i learned to love

  

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