for years, you carried the weight in silence. you bore it with no complaints, standing rigidly tall, determined not to let the world see you slump. you walked with a fierce yet unsettling grace. so proud, you swore to yourself that this was your cross to bear, your burden alone

and then, one soft day,
it detached itself from you
like a stillborn child.

I watched you kneeling in the blood and did not know what to say.
I watched you grasping at the remains, struggling to make sense of them, to find solace through reason.

you sat under the water to cleanse yourself and wept because it could never be enough. you clawed at your insides, tearing and mangling the fragile flesh, but you would never be able to scrape away the filth. the water swirled a vivid scarlet, a queasy pink, and then red again, the hues ebbing and flowing like ocean tides.

yet like tears in rain
one soft day this, too, shall pass–
a wise man once said.

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