My chest has been a graveyard of resentments, unresolved traumas, and anomalies of burdens best not spoken of. Here near the wrought iron gate lie the bones of little deaths that no longer hurt, strategically placed at the entrance as to filter the horror of what’s ahead. They are the well-tended ones among the others, lined with oak trees and clean, morose-looking stone angels upon the sun-dappled grounds. The air smells like freshly cut grass at all times, and butterflies can be seen fluttering among the vivid rainbow of wildflowers.
Every day, after giving that area loving looks, I start by placing flowers upon the tombs of the words I should’ve and shouldn’t have said, of the words I couldn’t, and those I no longer have the chance to. They do almost no damage. Not a single tear is shed for them, but somehow they are the hardest to let go. Even after the many pretences of healing, I always find myself coming back and surprisingly knowing which tomb to go to, parallel to what’s eating away my brains at the given moment.
Buried a little further, in sodden soils and balding grass, are the manifold agonies hardly ever silenced. These are the shadows that follow me everywhere― etching themselves onto my skin, digging deep with their claws, infiltrating my purpling veins, rusting the way I see the world. They are the screams and wails that scraped my throat. Here lie the sins I haven’t forgiven myself from, perhaps I couldn’t, for ten, twenty, thirty more years―not until the lips that utter the apology learn not to tremble terribly to speak of forgiveness.
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Beyond the grotesquely gnarled trees are the yawning ravened skies, beneath them the little deaths that don’t feel little at all. I do not grieve them, for I fear them. The mere mention of their existence is enough to steal a couple of peaceful beats from my heart. I do not go there often, but it is beyond my control when I do. The walks are always done in a trance, my senses suspended apart, aware of the enveloping darkness and the whispering mist. Then, before the rotting area of fissured tombstones, stone crosses, and moss-covered gargoyles upon the wide stretch of withered grass, littered with bones and damp fallen branches; I will feel again. This is the part where my knees will give up. The entities that diminish reason will torment my head again. For some reason, I have not yet been given the strength to mother the words to account the torture. I will emerge days later― drenched, shivering, and detached from reality.
Until now, I can’t say I’ve known these leaves-strewn grounds too well. I still discover headstones for little deaths I hadn’t known I had, some too old that I couldn’t make out the inscriptions, some long-forgotten I do not know what remains are underneath.
And just when I thought I’ll never be too broken than I am now, the gentle daybreak revealed acres of soil for more burials.
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