Jackie

i.
This time, when I crumble and collapse,
you won’t be there to break my fall.

ii.
It is the middle of the night and
I call you crying,
gasping between sobs about
stockpiling pennies and collecting cats
shrouded in the solitude of a studio apartment.

Even though you have work the next day
and your voice betrays your tiredness,
you paint visions of my one true love
waiting for me in some bookstore
or coffee shop out there.

You tell me a thousand times I’m worth it,
and you only hang up the phone when you hear
my laughter cut through the gloom.

iii.
This time, when I had to make that phone call,
you were buried somewhere in the static –
drowning in white noise. Your clay mouth closed.
Your small hands kneading the darkness.

If I could, I’d tear through this humming silence
that’s made ink-nests in my ears.
If I could, I’d fold up all of my apologies
and send them floating to your door.

iv.
My shouts are smothered in the void,
crinkling down to a whisper.

My veins are tired little snakes,
energy ebbing as I purge their venom

wrung out and worn
by the weight of missing you.

Sarah Marchant is a St. Louis poet who is unapologetically raw. Follow her work on Twitter: @apoetrybomb.

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