emotionally unavailable - check back later by Rachel Quist

When I stepped off the bus, I told myself
that nothing existed before that moment,
before I was recreated as someone who had no past at all.
And I’ve done well here,
carefully guarded myself so that even the people who think they know me
at all only get glimpses in between moments. Here I am: lonely,
but we all are; angry,
but we all are; captured,
but we all are. Here you are: delicate,
but I am not (I could have told you how words tore me down for
years before I stopped letting them hurt me at midnight); young,
but I am not (and in between the years of pain I left snapshots of myself
until I erased even the things that no longer existed); perfect,
but I am not (did I tell you I broke her heart your heart their heart
and yet my heart still works somehow?)

I’ve known to be nothing sometimes and to melt into the background
I’ve known to quell the terror that exists
at the pit of my stomach where the lies and truth tangle
and tell me I’m not I am
falling in love / away / into the wrong category. Falling,
but you are not (I am sure if you were in free fall you
would have remembered the parachute); broken,
but you are not (you fly your flag with no shame,
no consequence, like you’ve conquered a country); missing,
but you are not (LAST SEEN: Dec 12, 2015, or maybe before that, or maybe never -
I have seen no posters with your name and portrait plastered onto them).

I think I missed something critical when they were handing out parts
because all I’ve known to be is thin as the page of a Bible
lost in the wind somehow; someone was too careless this time
someone let go and forgot that the paper might rot or go up to God like a prayer.
And here I am: desperate,
but we all are; searching,
but we all are; here,

but we all are.