Don’t Flinch

Take a deep breath they say
Rest, relax, let it go!
My breath goes nowhere
So I take 20 more
each one shallow, rapid, ineffective

How do people not see it?
All the hurt, all the pain
on an endless maddening loop
deafening, overwhelming
I cover my eyes, block my ears
yet it is still there lurking
carving into my psyche
leaving permanent etchings 
on my soul
until I’m not sure where
I end and they begin

I just want it to stop
to find a little peace
A carefree smile
a warm scented spring day
To lay my head down and sleep
far away from the pain
far away from the cries

The pleasant thoughts are fleeting
as I’m jolted back to reality
somebody must listen
somebody must care
and I know, all too well
The somebody is me.

I dread to look so closely
feel all the emotions
feel all the  pain
feel it strongly
as if it were my own
but I cannot
and I will not
look away.

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