~Esther Mitchell, 2014~
You told me today,
That I just need to calm down,
That it’s not that bad,
That I should just let it go.
I smiled, and nodded, and walked away.
But what I wanted to ask you,
Was if you’d seen the leash I’m holding,
The door I’ve barricaded with my body,
To save you from the demons that push against the other side,
If I let go of this leash,
I unleash something I cannot control,
Its ravenous appetite never satisfied,
Until it pulls the last precious drop of my blood, of life,
From the hollow shell of my soul,
If I step away from the door,
Peel my body from this lock,
Rest my vigilance for even a breath,
I unleash a hell I cannot push back again,
I am Pandora before the box,
Untempted, because I already know the pestilence inside,
There isn’t any hope in my box,
My only hope rests in keeping it firmly closed,
And so I made my body the only key,
My throat sewn shut around the magic words,
That I could keep the demons from escaping.
You tell me I should pray about it,
But there’s no prayer that stays this battle,
No God capable of turning back this horde,
Your God abandoned me when this Hell was created,
My pleas echoed off your god’s deaf ears like bullets off Kevlar,
Until I was deafened to the sound of prayer,
Each word from your lips an artillery round,
Blowing open more places for the demons to come in,
More hollows where the words whispered in the night,
Until they were all I could hear, telling me to take the pills,
To use the knife,
To go back to the beginning, to fill my lungs with the water,
As they were that day.
You tell me to think positive,
That this, too, shall pass.
While you’re drowning me in your mantras,
You know nothing of what I face.
I am neither positively or negatively charged.
I am a lightning bolt,
A pounding pulse of electricity that lights up the night,
Fills the sky, takes it over, burns the ground where I walk,
And I am the night, the humming darkness before a storm,
The momentary tingle on your scalp, your tongue,
Just before my fire splits the sky.
I learned this when my world split in two,
Gained the ability to be invisible,
When it became too difficult for you to see me,
Charged the cloak of my own night,
With enough electricity to light the world,
Because the only way to drive my demons back,
Was to be something they feared more than I feared them.
I am the Gates of Babylon,
The portals through which heroes prostrate to pass,
My voice the guardian of secrets that bring kings to their knees,
My body a sacrament defiled to the roar of waves that sink kingdoms and empires.
Do not dare to tell me who, or what, shall pass through me,
Because you do not know the canals carved into my face,
By the rivers of tears you never saw, never stemmed.
You have not navigated the River Styx within my soul,
The murky water none can cross without my permission,
My tongue the ferryman, hand outstretched.
You haven’t the coin to unlock my secrets,
Because you don’t know what it means,
To cut out your own tongue,
To spare others from the demons who howl,
On the other side of my abyss.
You told me today,
To let it go, to just move on,
Because you have no idea,
The monsters I keep at bay.