“Stay present,” he said.

“Nicole, stay present.”

As though my mind were drifting,

Or my feet were wandering from the chair.

I’m present, wide awake.

My feet are bound.


“You didn’t make a mistake.”

It’s just like you to say that.

Your words are chosen carefully,

As though they could heal heartbreak.


You must know how foolish they sound

If you can hear sounds where you are…

Almost as silly as the songs you would sing me

On your hopeless, duct taped guitar

 (Your spirit pulls me through,

When nothing else will do)


“Why are you here?” He asks, but I haven’t an answer.

“Why are you here?” He asks.

He knows I’m lying somehow, smells it like cancer.

“You know why you’re here.”


The tears are coming, suddenly and violently.

There was no reining them, no control.

Luckily, they fall silently

But the eruption took its toll.


“There’s a man standing behind you.” He says.

I fight the urge to look, my back is against the wall.

I don’t feel you, no hand on my shoulder.

No chills, no calm, no contentment.

But process of elimination says it could only be


It could be



“You’ll make it through the storm.”

That’s your weathered message for me.

I can feel the rain on my cheeks,

The dark pressing against the window panes.

Doubt flees from my heart

It’s you.



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