one-hundred-sixty.

a long drive
way into the trees,
so high the sky
is barely visible
until the break in between.
the stream trickling
under the paved bridge
to an open body of aqua,
turquoise-green,
fresh, rocky water.
a quick glimpse of the scene
before you speed by
and the forest looks like a blurry photo,
again.
not enough time to check if the
river was running dry,
but enough to recognize
it was flowing fine.
at first glance.
at first probe.
at first inquisition.

the passenger’s seat.

one-hundred-fifty-seven.

is it still “giving up”
if the choice is made
with good intention?

one-hundred-twenty-nine.

you hold your pain above hers
like the paint shelf on a ladder.
flaunting your moments of weakness
to see whose eyes shed tears,
whose lips begin to quiver,
when you share your loneliness,
as if your heartache weighs more
than hers,
her cries for help.
as if your pain stains the walls
you’ve built,
deeper than her blood stains hers.
you shout, “look at me, look at me,”
while she weeps in silence,
attempting to stand on her own two feet,
because you’ve washed your hands
and want onlookers to document your spiral.