How To Keep Guilt In A Preserve Jar

By Britnie Hocking

I imagine it feels a lot like drowning. Drift. Just drift.

Paradise is but a breath away and you float. Float and spin like a spinning leaf, dancing in the sun.


Fragments of light touch its veins and it purrs its sweet vibration as it clings to flight.

Drift. Breathe. Lilt. Spin.


Then spiral. Tunnel down, a sweet slumber towards nothingness as the gravity takes hold.


Fingertips reach for something real. Something harsh and sharp. The feeling of a pinprick or a hurricane, a whisper or a shrill cry, a broken bone or a bruise or the open wound you gave when you left me here.


This planet is a lot of different things. Fathomable things.


Real and true and tangible things. Entities which bring the light of a thousand suns and needlepoints in my eyes as I look for too long into the brightness of it; and darkness so smooth it’s like staring into an endless well of stars, ready to let me slip into them like the warm covers on a cold night met with sweaty bodies and pockets of breath that seems to still hold no air.


But these stars reflect on us from too far away to touch – I want to reach out but grasp endlessly and claw at thin air the same way the words rasp on my breath before they can escape my mouth.


These words which are prickly and stinging as they come loose from my tongue. I choke back the harsh wave of the cries for help I hold back for everyone just like me.


Falling helplessly like the tears which pour from my eyes alone in the dark. In the shadows when the water runs to hide the pain and wash the tears away – a broken dam to mend when the sun rises again but for now it is a landslide and a tidal wave of emotion and there is no stopping a storm once it begins. It rolls on and carries through until it itself is swallowed by its own rage.



The rushing stops.

The walls still shake but the idle swish swish of torrents turns to barely a trickle.


Drift. Roll. Collide. Tumble.


Kaleidoscopes of voices, the poetry fractured by fists and faceless judges.


Can be Seen and heard in the world where people carry value but a person can feel worthless.


I fear my own voice as it falters before my own desires. To scream loudly in a barren wasteland to an endless nothingness of sky and sand and salt would never be enough.


To run, barefoot and free through an open desert, feet barely touching the ground as you glide step on step would never be fast enough.


To simmer. To quietly burn away the excitement, the bewilderment, the lightning, the enticing spectacle that used to grace that soul of that one, before it’s over.


Tumble. Fall. Break.




An altered state of being. A misfit in a society where silence is our only ticket to find the freedom to speak yet true freedom comes at the price of never really being heard or seen!

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