Claustrophobia is spinning webs between my bones,
making them creak like horror movie doors
and my dainty fingers shiver in the sweaty, summer moonlight.
The hole in my chest sleeps beside me at night,
and it grows and grows as I cry myself exhausted,
my throat raw and my pulse battering my eardrums.
But as I clutch the sleeves of a sweatshirt,
far too big to be mine, I talk to the emptiness
until it's full enough to lead me to peaceful rest.
I sometimes forget how the vast world
still moves just outside the walls of home.
The hollow shells of people don't feel what's missing
from the painting, they only see magazine covers,
and who knows what he's seeing, wherever he is,
because all I see are rooms getting smaller
around me, while every shadow he's ever made
engulfs the vacant space he once occupied.
I learned to keep my hands and feet a safe distance
from the bed's edge, afraid our skeletons would come alive
when they realize the knight has left his post.
In hysterical anguish, screaming until my ears turn white,
I shatter my favorite green teacups. I convince myself
to leave the jagged pieces on the kitchen floor,
and walk over them like a burning coal bed. It became
my daily ritual, paying wet, red pennies to bring him home.
And I will worship, until my veins run dry.
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