Safe & Sound
You have bells on your ankles
which you tied yourself to feel safe
for all those times
when you are alone in the dark.
You heard that one man died
from standing too close to the road.
His body was a mess of mirror and
broken glass chips in his cheeks
– frontpage of the newspapers –
mothers told their children to hold hands
and face the bright lights from a distance.
You shook yourself for days, digging
your fingernails into your arms and bare legs.
You refused to look in the mirror
and drank only from plastic cups, ate only with
plastic cutlery, saying you didn’t like
the taste of metal and that it was dirty
to eat with your fingers.
I woke up in the night to find you
tapping your teeth and plucking
at your ribcage, just to feel the bones
were there you said.
You told me you wanted to know what you
would look like as a corpse once
all of your skin had rotted away and people
had forgotten to leave flowers on your grave.
If you fell in the road tomorrow
there would just be noise at the end
and you couldn’t let them present
a mangled body to the funeral director.
You worried that Heaven wouldn’t have you
either if you weren’t completely clean.
You seemed happier to ring with each step
and people would smile and move away.
Sometimes you left the house when you couldn’t
sleep, but I am still waiting for you
and all there is is silence.
What inspired me: The city scar(e)s me.