Don’t Say I Didn’t Try

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I tried speaking to you across your pain,
tried finding a footing halfway between
your unspeakable and my unspeakable—
the sting of trusting the wrong heart,
the fatal error of assuming that life
was simple, that home was a place,

but I was only raking through sawdust,
awkward silences and contrived laughter
swallowing the light, impenetrable,
and the gray fine enough to stain
our clothes, our fingers,
the otherwise clean slate

you don’t recognize kindness anymore

there are maps of unbending in your eyes
and downward spirals on your shoulders

convex, your enmity
you reflect all my words back to me
upside down, as if
every attempt at softness were burning you

dear child, you’ll learn
you may not run out of lies
but you’ll run out of people to lie to

ours is a shrinking desert

you’ll become an echo chamber unto yourself

I tried reaching out to you across the pain
but maybe I don’t know how, maybe
I’m no longer broken enough for you
to feel safe around,
and you closed the door.

There aren’t many open doors left.
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