by Fransivan MacKenzie
And I am sick of it.
January was a wound I dressed by dressing up,
as if I could summon spring
by spilling watercolors against the sketchpad and calling that art,
sipping piña colada by the ocean,
and writing poems in my head about cumulus clouds.
I went back to therapy.
When I told her I was happy, her dainty little fingers scribbled something down.
But Frances, the eyes do not lie.
February was a curse but at least this year, I pretended to be enchanted,
as though I wasn’t afraid of witchcraft,
as though my spells meant magic and folklore and not all those times
I passed out in stinky bathroom stalls because I didn’t eat enough.
In March, I fell in love.
He bought me a bouquet of satin sunflowers and wrote me love letters.
I found the one whom my soul loves.
I wore my favorite earrings around him,
and always made sure my lips weren’t chapped.
I listened to the Lover album in a loop and thought
So this is what seizes the poets to write?
In April, I truly believed that the summer in my chest could last a lifetime.
I dreamt of solitaires shining on the back of my hand.
In May, I realized I was with a boy when I deserved a man.
While I was grateful for the romance, it wasn’t what I needed
at twenty-one, while juggling part-time jobs, a Master’s Degree,
and a career he couldn’t understand.
I’m sorry I can’t give you the clarity that you want, he typed
and I held back a sob.
When I called it off, I watched the cinders of his gifts
and his empty promises crowd my bedroom floor at midnight.
I slept through the staccato of June rain against the tin roof.
When I woke up, it was July and my body ached
for yet another month of hibernation,
even a year, perhaps?
I couldn’t witness the world go on if I keep my eyes shut.
I couldn’t feel left behind if I’m already gone.
Last December, my closest friend of three years told me that I was exhausting.
I cried myself to sleep.
I am convinced that I never rose from that dreamless state of despondency,
that I left myself there, in the sheets,
even as I went on pretending I hadn’t lost the most beautiful gift life had ever given to me.
Now, I stare at the ceiling and laugh.
Even my spine – collapsed to the mattress,
my legs – paralyzed by this sadness,
my veins – ice-cold with mood stabilizers and caffeine,
my heart, oh my godforsaken heart with all its sharpest shards,
even all of me believes she’s right.
I am exhausting.
But I am even more tired.