Are you breathing?

from by Redlands

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How could I know
at 9 years old
that loneliness
is commonplace?

There’s a broken chord
where harmony
once filled the home,
but nobody seems to hear.

It’s natural
to want to shine,
but father yells
and mother cries over me.

Thinking hard
of common ground,
there’s one thing they
can’t live without.

I may be too young to die,
But that don’y mean that I won’t try.

On Saturday
long before they awake,
from the closet shelf
I pull my father’s safe.

It’s cold and hard
and heavy now.
I pick a spot
I can live without

I don’t feel anything now.
I just taste blood in my mouth.

Come on breathe. Come on breathe.
Look at me, son. Come on, breathe, son.
What have we done?

I may not feel my legs now,
but at least you’re at my beck and call

There’s not concealing how you’re feeling.
I’m right here, in your last years,
and I’m still breathing.


from Are you breathing?, released June 1, 2009



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