How I’m Spending Christmas

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Which is to say, I’m not.
I can’t see the lights
or hear the music.
And I try, damn it,
I do try as hard as I can.
I’ve been faking it
in the hopes that I’ll make it.
I’ll smile and sing
and joke and play,
but birds and owls
always drag me back
to my emotional deathbed
and its water stained pillows.

I don’t want to talk to anyone
so I can’t blame them for not noticing.
Still I wish they would.
I wish they could see that
when I say I’m not feeling festive,
I mean my favorite time of the year
feels like a knife to the stomach
that keeps turning without mercy.
When I say I’m not doing great,
I mean there’s a storm with my name.
When I say I didn’t have a good day,
for the nineteenth time in a row,
I mean I’m more salt water than human.
When I say something isn’t right,
I mean loneliness sings me to sleep
and life feels too heavy on my shoulders.
I’m screaming with my mouth shut.
Why can’t you see it.
It’s so obvious.
I mean
help me.

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