You're the one who -

Brian Russell

I stare into a mirror each night,

a part of the ritual I try to summon and right

my little wrongs of the day: hygiene, deprecation,

misery; the mirror is fashioned

to be at the punctuation of my day.

As by evidence it has come to a close so I say:

“God your’e handsome, god you’re nice…

you’re the one who kept me safe at night.

We’re together, so pin up that smile with fingers

and make merry to the sound of the hurt that lingers.

Remember the times this bathroom holds

a knife in the bathtub, vomit on the door.

A lifetime of memories kicking down in exultation

My hand reaching out, touching its twin in the reflection.

It isn’t all sad.

It isn’t all necessary.

Just remember you’re the one who makes me

feed the portions to my mind’s ravenous dogs, aches me,

like a bruised bone and withers, stakes me

and my happiness with constant blunders, fakes me

and feigns the things I adore in others —

Kills me —

And the sadness too beside embers,

Trusts me.

Trust me.

We’re all but our blunders,

have a little hope…

lengthen the cord and stoop,

over the edge with a hooked nose and dimples too,

to see a future rid of you.

To see a future needing you.

This war lives within every decision I make,

the eyes unflinching lets loose their tears,

to realize the thing I saw, a glimmer in my eyes that hope still lives there.

I have to keep fighting.

You’re the one who —

“I’m stuck with.”

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