Breaking Open

I just need to write until

every drop of what I have

inside me is on the page, in

permanent ink, bleeding

blue or black, and irrefutable.

No one can tell me

I don’t feel settled, because right there

on the paper, they can see

in curly ink letters

what is scrabbling inside.

No one can

tell me I shouldn’t be

reacting this way, because

the paper is accepting

it, accepting me, it is

what I use to justify just

what I am feeling when and

if my feeling isn’t enough to prove it, then

why do the words make it better, albeit,

       not lesser?


Let me tell you about how

the wrinkles around my eyes crinkle

like dead leaves tracing

the cracks in the dried out road, but

the tear-stains marking my cheeks sparkle

like traces of crystal catching light inside

a geode and I can tell you


how I need to write what I feel

inside on this paper,

so it isn’t inside anymore. I

need to write

until it’s all out there,

all empty in here. I need to write

until it can’t hurt me anymore,

so I can tear the words

into tiny pieces and see them

out in front of me, so I can tell them:

“you’re real, but you’re not all I am”

even though

I will pour myself a cup

of words, some drowning

some floating

in the savory swirls, and drink

it all back in.

by Emma Sheinbaum

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