January (for my brave, strong friend)

I don’t need the weatherman
to tell me what day it is.
I can feel it in my bones
Chilled. Brittle.
A million broken pieces
held together by sheer tension.
If I step outside they might shatter into dust upon impact,
from the shock of the January air.

The bones never forget
when they make a trip through hell.
They hold the memories and share them
with each and every cell.

I don’t need the calendar
to remind me what week it is.
I can feel it in my muscles.
Tense. Rubbery.
Like bands of elastic wound
so tightly around my brittle bones.
If I try to move they might snap
and send my limbs flailing
in all directions.

The muscles never forget
when they make a trip through hell.
They hold the memories and share them
with each and every cell.

I don’t need my iPhone
to show me what month it is.
I can feel it in my heart.
Pounding. Clenching.
Ticking like a time-bomb, ever faster, ever faster.
If I don’t catch my breath
it might explode out of my chest,
bloodying everything around,
leaving me in a heap.

The heart never forgets
when it makes a trip through hell.
It holds the memories and shares them
with each and every cell.

I don’t need anyone
to tell me what year it is.
I can feel it in my soul.
Hiding. Growing.
Buried under other years
of cellular replication.
Waiting for me to reach my cold hands down,
beneath the flesh, beneath the bone,
to lift it out
and hold it up in two hands,
over my head,
an offering to my gods and demons.
Look here! See this!
This is my soul! I am right here!
In this moment! Thriving!

The soul never forgets when it
survives a trip through hell.
Stronger for the journey,
and the tale it has to tell.
But it speaks in just a whisper,
until it’s time to yell.
Then it swells with joy and gratitude,
and it shares them with every cell.

….

…..

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