I cannot be anymore

than I am;

yet, I am

someone I can never be,

like winds bend through the black trees

without airs

to pretend

they are any more than air.

It is not sorrow that turns,

nor regret;

but old fears

which tighten their thin tendrils

until my voice is contained,

and defined

by others

unafraid of presumptions.

Brick by dry brick dead walls form

sealing in

the remains

of my childhood’s laughter.

I walk through this miasma,

this darkness,

each blue day—

discomfited in the rags

and cliches draped upon me,

like cold rain

which washes

all the burnt dust from the air.

(December 17, 2021)

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