Dirty Laundry

It never stops piling up.

Used to be

I hated poetry,

Prose just spoke to the child in me,

Who always colored inside the lines;

Too afraid of what could happen outside,

With no structure, only patterns of lines

Where we put up boundaries like hung laundry,

Clipped to the line, dripping with regret;

Praying in waiting for time and sunshine

To dry up the past and erase stains

From memories in traumatized minds,

Dragged through the mud, shoved into boxes,

Left to mold and mildew on damp floors

Soaked in breath-stealing spore structures

Molded, bloody, but concealing truth

We longed to tell, but kept hidden, breathless,

Stifled in closets, where we always returned,

Borders for borders; safe, clean;

Kept inside while we waited, and grew,

Shedding clothes like we shed skins–

Outgrowing ourselves, and learning

How to conceal ourselves in color

And care more for it than ourselves,

Who we buried beneath posed prose

Hiding shallow breath in hollow structure,

Desperate to step outside & breathe.

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