What Once Was [New]

I was on a mad dash
to prove my worth
to myself and everyone else.
And that meant sacrificing the things I wanted long-term
for temporary respite
only to find myself still as bitter —
not better — than before.
So I took a class
and I meditated
and I thought
and I cried
and I journaled
and I pointed my car’s full tank in any direction
and I sweated
and I swore
and I made promises to myself and others.
But I didn’t keep them.
Except the one –
That I’d be better than the day before.
So when you tell me I’m ‘too much for you sometimes’
and laugh because it’s true
Or tell me I’m ‘too sensitive’
and poke me in the rib to show your proof, remember
You don’t seem to like when I return those favors
and pull your triggers
and invade your bubble.
You retreat to the safety of a small circle
that grows ever smaller.
While I discover that the immolation only ceases
when there is nothing but shimmering grey ash
and a peaceful calm
rising like a cool fog on a warm ocean
Surrounding the charred remnants of what once was.