I stretch my hands up to a sky
that swallows me whole, looks at
me from the light and the dark that
dies on my eyes every day.

The tip of my tongue wars against
every word, I stifle the need to say
more, to take space even when I feel
the universe hold me.

My feet put me up, move this body
forward when all I want is to fall, I take
the edge of every expectation and cut down
my relief, no one is truly free.

I dream and if only I could be with
the stars and the impossible vastness of
everything, if my soul was truly mine
and this world was another.

But I am here, and I can feel the earth
beneath my feet, I can feel reality hold me,
keeping me awake, draining my soul of its
innocence, leaving me colorless.

I can still see the stars, I can still conjure up
stories in the dark to help quiet the emptiness,
this feeling that conquers me and is all
encompassing. Reduces me to nothing.

It brings a fear before me, knowing I can be as
big as I want, as small, as quiet, as deadly: anything
I chose to, and yet I can't muster the energy to be
anything but no one, the mask doesn't hold.

Keep it in, hold yourself together, don't give in,
the ache in my bones and screaming of my blood
promise a repeat: again, tomorrow. Bite your tongue,
lock the door, no one is truly free.