Do Not Be Afraid

Do Not be Afraid

i see the way your lips and the words wrestle;
i am having as much difficulty — i remember
the first time i decided to pick up a pen
and favor it over my voice, instead.
in my beloved notebook, the old me
painted carousels and wonders; well,
only as good as i could tell them. honestly,
i never thought of them as exceptional,
but they were mine,
and so i thought they must be worth something.
it’s funny, how they all are different
but every one of them seems to say
that you need not bottle things in anymore —
do not be afraid.

do not be afraid. the ink is alive
and well. it hears you. it *is* you. it is not
a celebration of another’s earthly form, never
expositions of humankind’s disguises.
most of the time, people are never true
— true, and you seem to think that you’re
the only one left that’s real, but see,
that, as well,
is exactly how they feel.
and they have their own little verses inside of them
stored in little glass vials that sometimes escape
their eyes in the form of tears. do not be afraid.

— suddenly, i am not sure of i am still talking to you or
lecturing myself. i feel you. the hurt in every corpuscle,
the isolation of every thought, and the fear that to
accomodate them all would make the whole world blur, as if
the ley lines of the earth conspired to cause you pain —
the remnants, the wholeness, the convulsions, the compositions,
the meditations obsolete in the resulting emulsion of
incongruent ideals and awkward aloofness. i feel you.
i feel you because you are alive and at the moment standing
on a precipice into which a fall is proposed. do not be afraid.

i see the way the world intervenes. you wanted to be alone.
you can feel it in your bones — the breathing of nightrush,
the chemically-induced insomnia caused by
a person’s charm, or perhaps un-charm; a person’s
pleasantness or perhaps un-pleasantness, the sudden shifts
between euphoria and anxiety and delightful discomfort.
i am having as much difficulty — i remember
how i promised myself to avoid this; no more, no more, i said
— no, shouted —
from the depths that are the depths my heart could measure,
through the deafening silence of the night—

i see the way your words and your lips wrestle.

and like slithering snakes your lips betray you;
they are venomous, now, but pure nonetheless.
spit it out. i remember. let your spirit sing.
embrace it. do not delay. this is change. this is your crucible.
do not be afraid.

do not be afraid.

— A. P.

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