I think,
I might feel things a little too deeply.
Disappointment,
Anger,
Ecstasy,
Regret.
Emotions too complicated for my lack of eloquence to be named.
They take root in my chest, and there, they rot.
And sometimes,
Sometimes it gets a little too hard to breathe.

Yet,
I think,
It is always for the wrong things I feel.

A restaurant running out of a dumpling I wanted to buy….
Might have elicited more grief from me,
Than the sight of a lifeless child in a grieving mother’s arms;

Wearing a yellow shirt under clean blankets….
Might have made me happier,
Than watching over a dear friend crying in her hard-fought graduation dress;

I have cried more
Over the death of a humanlike character formed by artificially created lines and colors,
Than the death of a human being of real flesh and blood.

Can a poet
Who feels too much
Yet doesn’t feel enough–
Even be called a poet,
In her own right?

And yet,
These feelings,
Inconsequential as they may be:
They blossom in my heart like a crescendo,
Leaving burns in the wake of their fiery cry for my attention;
Beyond a request–
It is a demand.
A demand to be soothed by wandering thoughts,
Or wandering hands.
By escapist words stamped on paper like a curse.

Until the ache evaporates into the wind.

But,
I am afraid.

Afraid of my emotions not catching up to me when I need them most,
When other people need me to need them most;
(When the only comfort that can sate them is the comfort brought by another person’s suffering.)

Afraid,
That one day,
I would come home to a horizon of blood,
To mangled bodies on the stairs and a gruesome stench in the air;
And I am afraid
That the most I could do,
Is stare.

Afraid,
That one day,
I would receive the phone call from the unknown number,
About my friend, who I never doubted would be around until the rooster perches on my grave,
And the life abruptly ended by the marriage of alcohol and steering wheels;
And I am afraid
That the most I could do,
Is end the call.

Afraid,
That one day,
I would be threatened by a gun to the head,
Over a phone and a wallet with the few pieces of coins I needed to make the trip back;
And I am afraid
That the most I could do,
Is look the person in the eye,
And tell them to drive the bullet home.

Actually, no.
I am not afraid.
The most I can conjure,
Is concern.

And that,
I think,
is pretty concerning in its own right.

Don’t you think?

// I tried to fix myself once.
In lieu of nothingness,
I forced myself to laugh a little too hard,
Cry a little too hard,
Feel, significantly a little too hard.
But I think
I might have broken myself,
More than I have fixed it?

– “What Do You Call a Poet Who Can’t Feel (Enough)?”

LL.

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