I open my mouth but I am gone my voice rusty from disuse a creaky hinge, a long-lost soul too many long days spent hiding in a bunker of my own divising A self-made ostrich hunting for the sand for the safety of a hole to plant myself in a hole where I cannot be reached where I cannot hear the screaming and where I cannot be moved

I open my mouth but I am lost my heart rusty from disuse so well am I hidden from even myself so well am I hidden from even god hiding where I thought I would be safe where I thought I would be full where I thought I could grow unimpeded

but this hole it becomes a grave a self-dug place to curl up in a swamp to mire my life in

I open my mouth my breath pours in silt and rust come pouring out and my hands reach up to fight my heart beats thunder inside my breast I open my eyes my rusted-shut crusted-shut eyes and when I open my eyes when I look out at the world anew I am afraid and trembling I am shy and small I am rusty and barely there but

I am there I stand again, I breathe again I rise and I raise my voice to shout out Shout out over the fear and the rust the pain and the dust and I reach out my hand to all I’ve ignored Welcome, I say, as the smoke clears Welcome I am here again I open my mouth and I am here #napowrimo19 #glopowrimo19

Kyeli Smith @Kyeli