War: four parts to pain

by You Have My Word

I.

If it’s all downhill from here, then maybe gravity is on our side. So when you fall – not if, because you will – fall hard. Plant yourself face first into the first. Let fists grow strong and let the fruit of your fury be tested against the bones of the broken – sticks and stones have already been here, so kick while they’re down. Remember, gravity is on our side, weighing heavy, and maybe that’s why our hearts look like constantly like they’re melting – sagging, dropping to meet the sand. Filth: we’re covered in it, covered in mud, smothered in dirty love and they’re hurling grenades of clay at us. Turn your face away. Cover your ears. Curl up till the stars announce the end of the day, then pick up the clumps of clay and mold them into weapons, into homes to make me stay because they’re coming for me.

II.

The trenches in your brow tell me there’s a war in your mind. Your hand-grenade-hurt eyes tell me there’s hand-me-down hate that runs all the way down your spine. Your heart, beating you up for every slick, thick-oiled lie you tell yourself to keep the cogs turning in your mind. We’re back at the start.

  • Loss cannot be measured in grains of sand or tear drops.
  • Why is it that int he split second before the most important moment of my life I notice that my shoe-lace is untied?
  • Do you love me?

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve thought of how many different ways I could have done things differently.

III.

Fear lives in a house with a Small Boy and a Big Dad. Fear is quiet until Big Dad decides that Small Boy has been bad. Fear is found in many forms here: slamming doors, shouting, whimpers, fists, split lips, but mostly fear is in the dark. Big Dad’s bite is far worse than his bark. Small boy only ever says three things: “Yes, dad” or “Sorry, dad” or “Please stop.” The first is good; the second thing makes dad mad. The third…well…Big Dad never hears that above the noise of his hands.

IV.

Stand your ground, because the dirt beneath your feet is all you’ve got right now. Dig your toenails in so when you eventually walk on you’ll take a part of this moment with you – grit and grime lodged between a soft and hard place – nail and bed. You’re neurotic; it’s OK. I bet when you spent those 47 minutes trying to clean the dirt out with a sad excuse for a knife the bed bled. Don’t you know that knives are for backs and not for stabbing at the tools that made footprint art in the sand? The sands of time do not look so pretty pretty when they’re locked in that hour glass, but here’s the secret: it’s ugly because it goes on, and it’s beautiful because it goes on. One hour glass upside-down after the next.

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