Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Pride Month 2021, Writing

Survivor’s Guilt

The party is over.

I pass you a glass of cold water,

but you don’t even feel it as it finds it’s way down your throat.

I hold onto it as you drink,

because your hands are shaking.

I know what that faraway stare means.

I know you go somewhere else,

to hide from the times you find yourself in,

so, I just hold you to my chest,

until you find your way back to your body.

We used to be so pretty,

me and my beautiful boys.

Pint after pint at that glorious shithole in Soho,

Judy on the jukebox,

shots of whisky and vodka that smelled like drain cleaner,

before we were home,

a glass of water each,

with our shaking hands and shaking hips.

You’d all kiss me on the cheek,

like I was your mother,

and fall asleep around my feet,

before I jumped and stretched across your snoring corpses, like a ballerina, to get to my bed.

You take a long time to return, this time,

the sleeves of my cardigan are covered in your sorrow, as your tears finally come.

My words don’t come,

and the ceiling is on the floor,

because the ghosts of all the boys I lost have found their way to the door of the nurse’s office,

and you look tempted,

because it’s been so long,

and it’s been so painful,

and I can’t ask you for one more day,

when I already know that you can’t say yes.

They are beckoning, as I hold you back,

selfish but in a selfless kind of sense,

because I know I can’t live without you,

and I know that you want to live,

so what’s the harm, if I hold you back from a journey that I can’t take with you?

I’m on the floor, begging for you,

begging with you,

both of us,

bargaining with God, with flippant men in white coats, with silent pots of medication that just stare, and stare and stare.

Don’t walk through doors that lock as soon as you leave.

Don’t leave me on the other side.

Don’t ask me to survive, when there will be nobody to survive for.

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