Heavy Cloaks

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because they suffer deeply within themself, and their suffering is spilling over. They do not need punishment; they need help. That is the message they are sending.” – Thich Naht Hahn


There are some things
I’d like to tell you,
and I wish you could hear these words

for every ligament of yours that ever ached,
mine echoed every break,

living side by side with a distorted mirror poised between us,
your anger
reflected mine,
my fear
reflected yours,

we tried to shatter the mirror from opposite sides,
we thought we could elude the thought-demons inside our minds,
but we couldn’t suffocate them beneath false smiles,

you grew up being told to never cry or shout in public
so you stowed it all away, thinking you were so brave.

and I, I was so afraid of being labelled a drama queen
or a vixen with a will to corrupt and distract men,
so I stowed it all away and called it composure.

We never fully articulated
the struggles you and I shared
lurking inside our souls, gnashing their teeth between our eyes,

and when the darkness enshrouded all our outlets
we were both so ashamed,
so we wanted to vanish
but we didn’t want to die,
to just cease to exist every once in a while,

unleashing the beasts only behind closed doors
with the lights dimmed… low.

Broken lamps,
remote controls,
torn shirts and broken promises,

I’m sorry, it’ll be different, tomorrow, I love you, I love you, I love you, I hate you, I love you,

So instead of disappearing,
we pretended our demons weren’t there,
but they followed us like shadows
wrapping around our shoulders like cloaks,

too heavy to tear off,
only unlatching the clasp of their claws
in our sleep,

where they hung on the door,
facing us,
crowding us in,
awaiting dawn,

and I know it didn’t matter
what company you kept beside you
or who you pushed away,

’cause sometimes I feel the same way,

the cloaks began to carry us
and navigated the world in our stride,
kept us from admitting we couldn’t bare the weight,
kept us from turning the mirror back to ourselves,

and sadly, from time to time,
it was the people, not the demons that we pushed aside.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s