Emily Norton

I am all gnawing & churning & noise.
Though, I have never made a sound.
The silence of my breath is chilling;
only a quiet beckon lives in me.

I hold back.
I am the unknown friction,
the tension at any given moment.
Your eyes are watchful, and I am simply a shell.

You wait for the ceiling to break and I
am the pause.
The moment before the crack.
The hitch in your breathing.

I am there, undoubtedly.
Waiting for a silence to slip into.
I am here, invisibly.
And you are simply watching.

broken up.
Shell cracked and scattered.
I am here,
and you are watching me surrender to myself.

Some powerful hand is reaching out,
and I am no longer hiding.
I am begging for nothing more than a chance to breathe openly
in this life’s confinement.

I am here, begging,
hoping my children never have to.
I am here, begging
for a different god.

I love like a shattered mirror: small, fierce, and violent.
I try to be kind, though my mind overbears.
The back rooms and creaking doors of this church have stolen all my youth;
its pieces are spread in unseen places.

And yet it will never be enough
for you,
that I am here and trying.
That I am piercing the night with your memory.

I keep returning, though.
To your carpeted floors, candles burning for all those dead people.
Flames of love, respect, and remembrance.
I keep returning: re-lighting a wick and kneeling,

praying only for myself.

About the Writer

Emily Norton is a professional writing student with a passion for poetry, creative non fiction, and editing. Her work focuses on themes of honesty, reclamation, and identity. She’s been writing since she was a child and hopes to do so as long as she can.

Editor: Sun

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