The Lackluster Rock

Katie D. Johnson

It's been so long since I have felt whole; if I ever did to begin with. The perpetual exhaustion weighs my eyelids down like the paperweights that supported my mother's books. The silence of my cries for help deafens me like the land mines tearing at my soul. My smiles stab daggers into my cheeks like nails against my skin. My mind is more of a Hell than Satan can ever dream of; bring on the fire and burn my sorrows away. There is nothing left for me to lose or fear.


Most nights, I lay awake. I sob the words burrowing into my mind onto paper, begging for even a tiny piece of peace. I'd tuck it safely away in my heart and grasp it tightly until I learned to feel again. I'd cradle it until it sang me into a sleep not plagued by the gales of my mind. I'd let it shine and take me to a place where pain is dead and I can feel alive again. I'd let it melt into the cracks of my soul and stitch them together again. I'd let it hug my heart in a tight, motherly way and teach her how to beat once more.


Instead, all I can grasp are thorns of darkness as I dangle over a swirling mass of water and seafoam. They roar in readiness to drown and erase my existence. Life pours down my arms and the roses of light wilt before I can even reach them. I find myself trapped between cursing the world and begging it to save me. I'm trapped between shining like the star I want to be and falling like the lackluster rock that I've always been.