Today I have been thinking

that—each pregnant pause

each conversation over coffee declined

each glass of wine

each polite turning shy

each time I kept my opinion to myself

each time I held my tongue

the bitten lip

the tousling of my hair in my fingertips

getting tighter, tearing out strands from the root

each less than subtle grimace

each Mona Lisa smile of knowing how it ends before it does

each made-up excuse to leave a party early

each hangover

each flashback

horror show.

Each time I said nothing when someone should have said something

and each time I knew it could be me, should be me,

there was only me to say it, but I caved—

each time I realised, I was no hero

not even each time I helped feed a beggar

each time I threw coins into the laps of the needy

each time I called an ambulance for the sick or dying

each time I offered my shoulder to cry on

each time I smoked my lungs to oblivion

or marinated my liver in wine

each time I dosed my troubles

I was no hero

I was just there, and a lot of the time, I had no idea why.

Each time I was ashamed of my bitterness

each time I was to blame for it

each time I refused to mention names

each time I looked in the mirror and scowled

each time I said never again

each time I shed a tear

each time I pulled the blinds on the world

each time I stared at the front door and failed to exit it

each time I would bite my fingernails

each time I nervously scratched my arms till they bled

each time I had a head full of chaos fit to bursting

each time I lay in bed crying my heart out for friends and loved ones

each time I neglected myself.

Each time I starved myself

each time I lost sleep

each time I realised I still had no great plan

each time I watched my ambitions leave me like unloved children

each time I was looking back over my shoulder

each time I could not see what was right in front of me

each time I fell

each time I grazed my knees and hands

each time I have looked in a certain person’s eyes

each time I have heard a certain tone of voice

each time I caught a certain body language swaggering by

each time I felt sick to my stomach.

I took a moment to breathe

and all this silence overflowed

I have too much going on inside to be silent

and too much silence resting on my tongue to be quiet

and too much chaos chattering over the silence

for it to ever be peaceful

and I have too much peacefulness in my heart

to cause a riot.

Today I was thinking.

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