Not a Dot but a Semicolon

Breath play…
You took my breath away;
Screaming silently like I’d never choke,
You took away more than my hope;
More like my sanity, till all that remained of me
Were shadows and echoes of what I used to be…

Sticks and stones break my bones,
But your words broke more than my soul;
Poisoning the well of my love, I was watered only by
The absence of yours -surrounded by your betrayals and lies.

Breath play…
You took my breath away;
A demon’s child you wished to destroy
Isolation became my only ploy
For peace, and yet your words rained like fists
To crush what little light remained in the shrouded mists;

The hot kiss of pain chased with throbbing hurt,
Why couldn’t you just leave me for dead? Burial dirt
Is kinder than placing your cruelty into my ribcage
To join old wounds rusted into blades planted by your rage.

Breath play…
You took my breath away;
To a moment when I wept ‘no more, no more’,
And weighted my options to seal the door;
There was no raven to quote evermore
Only rain, trees, and a slip knotted tour.

There was no magical light to show the way,
Just black and a thousand gradients of gray;
Tinged with blood, shame, blame, pain only the inhumane
Could carry. A burden carried by the broken and insane.

Breath play…
You took my breath away;
Suckered in by angels I thought would save me,
No such thing, I learned the hard way that nothing is what it seems;
Now every move that I make
Is tinged with doubt, for god’s sake!
Why can’t I kill you? That insidious voice in my head
Echoing every word that you ever said;
With fear and dread, ‘is it worth it?’ I ask the mirror every day;
And why does my reflection never have anything to say?

Breath play…
You took my breath away;
It’s all a power struggle and I refuse to lose,
Not a game or a puzzle, this isn’t even what I would choose;
Inheriting this strife in a broken world filled with danger,
Buck up, little one, you’ve got to be your own lost savior.
And why should I decide to let anyone in? Solitude is my fortress,
Ice is my armor, blades cannot pierce my iron core -hit and miss
I might be smiling, but that doesn’t mean that I am alive
Shell-shocked refugees can only survive. 

Breath play…
You took my breath away;
A coward dies a thousand times, a victim dies every second
Of every day, not just battling aggressors or self, but the allure beckoned
By death. Messages on dead trees flutter away, words like “I’m sorry”,
“I can’t do this anymore”, “I just want it to stop”, stapled to their quarry;
And the few that survive, never escape
Pain-raked souls glued with duct tape;
Then super glue, then gummed adhesive
That could never keep their lives cohesive.

Breath play…
You took my breath away;
Emerging from the shadow of death,
I still can’t breathe, can’t catch my breath;
ANGER seals my shell-shocked heart,
Enclosing the soft with an armor of darts;
A broadsword of sensitivity, attacking preemptively
Sphere of distance, walled protection, guarded attentively
Sworn to protection, the allegiance became a prison
And I was serving ten to life, chained without vision. 

Breath play…
You took my breath away;
And now I know better, it wasn’t just breath, but life
That you stole from me. Joy, innocence, all harvested by your scythe;
Now I am the one who destroys, tainting all that I touch
With the memories of pain. And the fear lingers, like a crutch
I can’t release. Echoes of torment through hollow memories
The light of day forever shrouded by historic enemies;
I am the harbinger, I bring my pain wrapped around me like cellophane,
Tissue paper wrapped, shredded and ripped, piled around the windowpane.

My Breath ISN’T play…
When You took my breath away,
You killed something precious that I’ll never own
There is nothing you can do to atone
It’s like I was punished instead, I bear the scars
You remain untouched -no one said life was fair, just marred
I’ll never move on, just trying to move
up and rebuild a better self
Every day is a battle, I don’t get my day, just a shelf
Of monuments. And this semicolon is mine to document
A journey of recovery and strength, forgiveness not violence.

I breathe deeply…
Tormenter, you will never have me;
I will have my future of possibility. You may steal my breath, but
You’ll never get the rest of my life. Day by day I leave this rut
Support groups build me up, and I’m so much stronger today
Reborn into a warrior, not a victim, and I shine on, a vibrant sunray.

I continue to breathe deeply…
You’ll never take my life away;

This poem is possible thanks to Morgan Campbell’s afterword in her book “Grayson: A Bully Novel” which resonated to inspired my poem.

“The goal …is to restore hope and confidence in people who are troubled by addiction, depression, self-harm, and suicide… The semicolon symbolizes that the difficulties they face are not the end but a new beginning… By encouraging people to share their marks and stories, Project Semicolon seeks to instill hope and open up a dialogue about mental health.” – Davey Hoen

Project Semicolon’s website  (IE browser recommended).

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Published by

opalflame

I am artist, analyst, author, poet, composer, musician to name a few aspects of myself. A bit of a jack of trades, I dabble into many fields that encourage the blossom of imagination and allow me to channel my creativity. I dream vividly and view the world through the lens of optimism and opportunity while acknowledging the ink and shadows.

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