Peel off the layers of my skin
and I’ll show you what I hide beneath them.
Put down the emotional baggage
and we’ll see if there’s anything left to discuss.
Find the right combination of storybooks and songbirds
to unlock the contents of my soul.
The problem is I think I swallowed the key.
The problem is I’m still reacting to a kitchen table.
The problem is I forgot where I put the lock.
The problem is there’s really no problem
but the fear of the problem –
the problem is the fear.
The problem is the fear
the problem is me.
You see, I never knew how to breathe above water
so instead I preferred drowning.
So the problem is the survival mechanism became a means to my own end.
And when you can’t swim on land but in a pool of your own blood
you start to think the drowning was better
and life becomes a choice between the lesser of two evils –
a presidential arms race where the tyrant always wins
until overthrown by the original survival skill
overridden not even by the drowning –
the ability to breathe.
Poems can seem unfinished
like breaths can seem too long to take
or too short to spare.
The important thing is they are taken