She says relax and I
Try to picture
Ocean mist but
And see instead
Breaking waves overhead
And feel my throat
With salt water
As my lungs
Fill and collapse.

She says relax and I
Bite my nails
Too hard
To remember being
My clenched jaw
Makes me see
And I can feel
The line between
Jagged teeth and
A broken hand.

She breathes smoke and I
Remember every time
I thought
How could my life
Get any better?
I think now
How do you tread
So lightly
On words I could not
Even force
From my mouth?
And I understand
Exactly where I want
To be
Every time
That she tells me
To relax.

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