2010

if I’m being honest

I haven’t felt pain in nearly a decade

it is still January 31, 2010

and I’m sitting on Louis’s bed

the sun is blaring into his room

lighting up my fingertips

I am staring at a text message

I am trying to swallow it

trying to gulp down the words

I read it in your voice

but it can’t be your voice

the message says

that you are gone

and that she is sorry-

so sorry, that

I couldn’t bring myself

to your hospice room again

she leaves out the death in your eyes

you deserved better than death in your eyes

hazel, they were hazel

I always wished for pretty eyes like yours

but you said I had better ones

ones like the darkest part of the ocean

I hadn’t seen it but I believed you

I thought of you sailing to the end of the world

to prove your point

as you would’ve

I thought of the life you would never know I had

I cried so much and so deep

that my tears became acid

and that acid burned

the nerve endings

and god, I’m almost certain

I could feel my soul tearing

and leaving this earth with you

I’m almost certain

the only thing that will not die

is my grief.

– sheila c.

For Grandpa, until we meet again

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how?

it’s like the sound

of a memory

playing in the background

like you’ve walked

into a room,

10 years ago

and upset the equilibrium

you can’t hear it

if you turn your head

slightly,

but you can feel it in your gut

pulsating from inside of you

ready to burst

I would reach out

if I could

but calls are so far gone

and messages can’t convey

what nervousness

and thought will not

let through,

..come through..

how do I say?

– Sheila C.

top 40 in an uber, November 2018

there is something cathartic

about crying hysterically

in the back of an uber

while the driver glances over

at the rear view and nervously

digs through the top 40

attempting to ignore you

while Mariah Carey tell us

all she wants for christmas

and it’s “you”

John is not a great driver

but he’s a good companion

he knows that I am not okay

and he doesn’t need to ask

he lands on a song

about moving on

and ISNT IT IRONIC

i thought i had emerged

burial shroud

in hand

ready for the WHOLE world

but tonight I am liable to dig

a hole and shove my face

in first

John glances back and says finally

“Hey, I’m sorry to… uh.. interrupt but I just wanted to say.. maybe take a breath??”

that’s very sweet but

breathing in is hard

with a mouth full of

dirt, John.

-Sheila C.

baby

when you sprang forth from her

did you have any idea

that your embattled mass

would be the proud flesh

she would hold in her arms?

that your life

was tied to her life?

that her life

was your life ?

that she like our sisters

all bleed in their beds

because all of our beds

are the same

and we will always

bleed in them

some of us

more than others

but we will always bleed

in them

there is with your breath

a battle cry

one that she labored for

that she pushed out

for your strength

baby, you were not born

you were birthed

and so on

and so on

– Sheila C.