A salute to standing tall

by You Have My Word

- FILE PHOTO 26FEB91 - A file photo dated February 26, 1991 of a U.S. soldier standing night guard a..

There are days my heart immigrates to my stomach because the air isn’t thick enough to breathe up here. There are fears wedged between these boulders I’ve come to know as teeth and I’m waiting for the resurrection to spit them out of the grave – so they can walk wound free over this zebra-crossing rib cage onto the middle of a stage. But my stage is right here and those fears aren’t going anywhere.

There are days I can’t extract as much as a whisper from these flowerbed lungs let alone a roar! I don’t have it in me. After all these years I still can’t blare my own name without being ashamed of the possibility that I may mean something to someone.

There are days when the difference between holding on tight and suffocating is blurred by the possibility that you may leave. You told me: never forget me! So I write to keep you alive long after you’ve left and I’m stupid enough to believe you’ll come back again when the moon lullabys the night to sleep, before the sun washes the face of the east in the early morning. Will you find me if I keep looking for you?

There are angry, labyrinth days where I find fury folded within love, within uncertainty, within hope, within the sunlight slither of “maybe,” that things will get better from here.

So I stumble through the minefield days already drenched in enough booze that “whiskey” begins to sound like “wishes” and “rum” starts to sound a lot like “run” but I don’t. I hold my ground and pour more abstinence… or maybe absinthe  down my throat. I’m so far gone I can drink God under the table! And there’s enough liquor to drown the already dampened voices, and there are enough people here to justify my wrong choices. Trying to fix this would be like trying to play pick-up-sticks in a tornado. Impossible!

So step away. Make room for days when hell hands us hand-grenades and says “Choose! Welcome to the execution parade.” We kneel: hands in the air, skin ripped and laid bare. We will not show them that we’re scared knowing these gunmen in masks have a flair for the bloodier things and they’ll paint our insides across the battlefields of kings leaving not even one of us standing.