by Emily Henderson


When gazing from afar, his skin
looks like it should feel of hot
burning metal,
the reddish tint slipping through the
chocolate flesh and upsurging
to the surface.

As he opens up his mouth, you
can hear the roar that left
his lips, the lips that used to
belong to

The chalky aftertaste of the powdery pill
used to calm and
control the beast lazily gazing
at you behind pale lids
is easy to sense
in his stale breaths.

The quivering can be seen in his
stance, his bones begin to
shake as well, they show through so
much more now due to the
medicine that makes him frail and sick.

The smell of green leaves envelops
the cotton that clings to his
skin, that stench is now second
nature to his presence.

A foreign sense of sadness lodges
in your chest at the sight of such paranoia
and fear in a grown man’s eyes.
A man old enough to taste
the bitter liquor on his tongue,
A man old enough to live on
his own,

Because the chemicals
control his erratic behaviors and frustrations,
He is

Your frustrations and fatigue
begin to show through as well,
in the form of tears.
But you cannot give up on him,
because of the promise that bubbles in
his blood, which simmers in a familiar rhythm to yours.



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