Just One Day

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I give myself one day.
One day to hide underneath
this giant duvet.
This tent of false security.
This small grey cave where
(somehow) all of my
broken pieces
can find a space.

I give myself one day to let the
ache sit in my chest as I
feel it begin to slide,
roller-coaster like, into
my stomach. The uncomfortable
whoosh when I think
of the friends who’ve
lost all footing.

I give myself one day to look at
my son’s puzzled face as he
asks why the man who
mud-slings and name calls got
picked. And one day to tell
him that I’ve got no
answers, but that I’m
looking for them too.

I give myself one day to
keep things black and
white. To suss people up with
a stare — and to blame.
One day to think angry
thoughts and to slink
at the levels I condemn
in them.

I give myself one day to
quiet every white man
with my hand. To roll my
eyes when they say “It
will be okay.” To reply the
animal way. With a growl that
says you’ve never felt your
foundation quake.

I give myself one day
to crawl out of the downy
layers of this duvet
to bake a tray of cookies
which I will eat
for breakfast
lunch and
dinner.

And I give myself one day
to fall asleep with my left
side pressed too hard — 
too urgently against
one of the good one’s.
And his heat
will reassure
me.

And then I’ll crawl out.
Cookie crumbs will spill off
my edges. I’ll reach for my
black turtleneck but — last
minute — will throw on
my brightest scarf. I’ll
smile at the texts from
soul-friends

as they, too, emerge.
I’ll brush my hair and teeth.
I’ll inhabit my email replies
with the warmth of face-to-face.
I’ll wash things and fold things
and swallow my books like
comfort food — all as the veil
inches away.

And when my son assesses me
(his morning diagnosis)
he’ll still sense the weariness
there. The hovering ache. But
he’ll also see my eyes
scanning the room. Doing what
it is we do when the clouds
roll through —

seeking out the spaces where the light peeks in.

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