nothing but;

By Tallulah Armstrong-Temple, TIWP Student

She is afraid
of what?
of double meanings
silk wrapped around barbed wire
bouquets of roses with thorns so sharp 
you don’t even notice when they cut
until blood drips, flowing to fill
every empty thought  
staining a dusky red you can’t get out 
of difference, drifting into uncharted waters  
She is afraid of the deep sea 
of doubt 
of being okay  
letting things go  
getting over fear, pushing a weight out of her chest 
if there is no fear is there nothing left?  
She is afraid of being alone  
without people people to reflect  
without distant light bouncing back
will it be dark? 
if the only thing she reflects is herself  
will there be nothing?  
will she be nothing?

She is alone 
one by one  
everyone left  
carrying their shoes  
laughing so loud 
she could hear them for miles after  
they left  
they took their favorite clothes
they stole their favorite movies, their books  
the tv shows they watched together  
they took the lights, the music  
they only left broken glass like glitter
stuck under fingernails
and between floorboards  
in the pockets of the jeans she doesn’t like 
but bought because someone said they were cute  
and, they left her  
it was only fair  
she took everything first 
but she almost had herself fooled

She is nothing  
as she has always known  
She is nothing  
not sunlight  
filling someone with warmth  
plating life with gold  
not darkness  
creeping in with the cold  
not a friend, a lover,  
someone to miss 
She is nothing  
nothingness is something  
if she would get up  
if she would look  
she’d see two eyes, a nose, a mouth
She is nothing but two eyes, a nose, a mouth  
if she would listen 
she’d hear herself breathe  
She is nothing but breath  
She is nothing without someone else 
She is nothing but herself  
she gets up  
She is nothing but;

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