by Courtney Caro

She tells me it won’t always hurt like this –
but I still feel every door I’ve ever shut,
every window;
a mess of strings tugging at me
with every move I make,
e v e r y  step
I’m dragged forward.

This year I’ll turn twenty-two
if I can make it to June
but my car-crash heart
has been  s k i p p i n g  and sliding
for as long as I can remember
and I don’t know if I can take
another December
without cigarettes on his porch swing –
I don’t know how to come back from that.

I don’t know how many times I can write the same poem – 
how many times it takes to get it right,
pinning moments like butterfly wings in a display case
before the colors fade;
words like water in my hands.
I want to write it until it’s real.
Maybe this will be my year.

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