No matter how much I try to hold my head up high, I’m suffocating. At first, it seemed tolerable. If I could just make it to another breath, if my muscles would just stretch. Contraction shouldn’t be this hard, and all this pain I shouldn’t have to disregard. I just want to live. Instead, I’m suffocating.
There is food in my fridge, but it will be empty tomorrow. There isn’t much that can ease this sort of sorrow because everyone sees me with a roof over my head and clothes on my back, and even with all this, I put on this fake smile like I’m living the dream…when I’m really dreaming. I’m dreaming of when my days won’t be filled with so much rain and my nights won’t be filled with so much sunshine. I can’t go out without an umbrella. I can’t even go to sleep without staying awake, worrying about what’s at stake.
My children sleep in the same bed at night, tucked in tight, as I lean against their door so the sound of their breathing can soothe me. At least they are alive and well with so many ideas to show and tell…while I’m ashamed of my stories, dreams and ignorant lullabies that I used to convince myself of year after year. I would believe I could do anything, pull myself out of anywhere.
Too afraid to ask anyone for help because of the way I know they will spread my situation into the streets, the sweltering heat… it makes it nearly impossible to not accept defeat. I want to say I need a couple more dollars to make ends meet, when the truth is I need a couple hundred of those dollars before they cast me and my family out. That’s what will happen without a doubt. Then what?
I work, but I’m suffocating.
Tomorrow something might pull through for me. Until then, I will hold my head up high and work until there is no more work left in me. I just don’t want to die…
Because I’m suffocating.
Brand new book of poetry coming in 2017, featuring my poem The Suffocation
The first look at the book cover will be in my upcoming magazine, so subscribe to get the firsts for everything!