i’m watching her whither away in front of me.
i’m watching as her mascara runs down her cheeks in black tears,
as smoke escapes her mouth.
i’m sitting in front of her and i reach out to touch her,
but i’m too far away to reach her.
i know what she needs.
i know what she desires.
i’m trying to calm her down but she can’t hear me over the sound of her own sobs.
old scars reopen
and new scars form with every whimper.
she’s gasping for breath as she drowns in the ink she bleeds out.
the fire that she built within herself to keep others warm is now the fire that is burning her from the inside.
her own ashes get caught in her hair
the way that snowflakes land on children’s eyelashes.
i am watching, helpless, as she is beating herself senseless
because she sees herself as not good enough.
i am trying to teach her love
but every porcelain piece of myself i give to her
shatters as it touches her,
and cuts her hands to ribbons.
one of these days we won’t be able to sedate her.
one of these days talking won’t be enough.
medication won’t be enough.
one of these days she will dwindle to nothing
and she will take me with her.
i am within and without.
within and without.