Inheritance

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic


A midday's confession.

Submitted: July 12, 2018

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Submitted: July 12, 2018

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"Inheritance"
I’ve always been candid in regards to my familial inheritance.  It comes at me, after all, from both sides and with a peculiar and damning vengeance.The longer I’ve wrestled with it, the more I’ve learned to navigate it, to patch its holes and brave its waters, if only to stay afloat.Most days I shuffle by with pervasive awful thoughts, but I meet them where they are, staring them down until they loosen their grip.  I bite my lip; invite, and then bid farewell to,  my tears.  I divide and conquer. 
Some days, however, it is as if I wake too late.  I roll out of bed and I am already spent, unable to fight for having been swallowed in my sleep by the insidious beast that is depression.  I have no desire to brush my teeth or wash my hair, to eat;  my chest is leaden and I convince myself that I am in the midst of a heart attack.  My thoughts perpetuate themselves, multiplying and metastasizing, like a tumor; unseen but devastating, my skin humming of the possibility of death.
I pass the mirror and recoil at the stranger who returns, then averts, her gaze.  I typically pride myself on my big, sparkling eyes.  Typically, they’re glowing and exuberant, on fire with some incomprehensible passion.On days like this, they stare back at me, however, abysmal and cavernous.  I could fall into myself through those portals, uncertain that I would ever reemerge.
I gnash my teeth and brandish my fists, as always, but I come up short.  The thoughts don’t leave and the tears either retreat or break like a levee, drowning myself and hammering others; a stubborn wave that manifests as an impenetrable wall.I pray for affection,  yearn for it like a child, but I can not seek it.  I ache when its offered, as it feels unreal; obscured as it is by an ever-shrinking self.  When so in its grasp, I cannot feel love, only ambivalence and a raging emptiness, so raw as to cause me physical pain.  I could be held and not feel a thing; as if the love being given to me were meant for someone else and is, as such, rendered null and void even before it meets my skin.
Most days, I win.  But, every now and again, I don’t; I submit to the waves and pray that I don’t get caught in the undertow. 
I brace myself.  I white-knuckle it as I resign myself to the truth that I will have to try again tomorrow.  Sometimes, after all, the only strategy is to wait it out.


© Copyright 2018 Erin Werner. All rights reserved.