I'm not built for this,
not made to withstand distress of this grade.
Can't maintain my hands that shake or my heart that quakes,
the stress that makes my body ache.
It rends and takes, it bombs and breaks
and every other day I oscillate from despondency
to terror to panic to manic and back again to apathy.
I only wish I could live apathetically.
I wouldn't cower if I didn't care.
Nothing to break if nothing is there.
I wish I was safe, that's what I wish,
because I'm not built for this.

I'm not wired to wonder what I don't have to eat,
or how to keep warm when I sleep,
or act like a sheep when I beg for donations
off the taxpayers' backs in my beautiful nation.
A dutiful nation whose duty includes
telling us once we make too much even when it's not enough,
because 'minimum' is a misnomer
when three jobs can't keep a home.

When did I graduate to pragmatist
whose practicality includes reducing loved ones
to energy used and calories consumed?
Wondering who it's safe to lose
like batteries changed and cargo thrown away?
Looking back on those that didn't make it
and knowing we're better off this way.
But they would've been in pain —
is what I tell myself, anyway.

What little can I live on, how much can I stand?
what vittles can I skip, what lights can I leave dim,
what illness can I handle, what bills can we ignore,
what belongings can we sell for a bit
so we can pick milk up at the store?
A mindscape made of eventualities,
planning for emergencies, imagining situations,
contriving survival tactics, contingencies and strategies,
and lots of desperate prayer,
hoping we can make it there.

I curse my circumstances, the happenstances
that handed me fear in a handbasket
and stole every fantasy I had of security.
I can't see floors, just holes.
More and more I have to ask if this
was where we were meant to go:
holes and graves and gutters,
cold and waning, nameless and alone.
After all, we put in nothing, so nothing shall we own,
nothing shall we reap from the nothing that we've sown.
Maybe we were made for this, maybe we are bricks.
Maybe I was built for this. I'll never know.