not like before

i always wake early now. sleeping in is unkind

memories and questions come in waves. i am afraid of drowning in the tears collecting in my body,
the ones i cannot shed because i do not want to mourn something that is still so alive inside me

i placate myself with well-buttered whole grain toast,
too much television, too much bacon, a few cigarettes.

i’m out of coffee beans, out of poetry,
my heart and lungs are congested

this is not like anything that came before
this is not like anything i’ve known

walking forward is just placing
one foot ahead of the other, isn’t it?

but i can’t even feel my feet.

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