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Dead and Breathing



Hey! Mentions of some dark stuff in this poem - grieving and the like - so if this might upset you, maybe don't read this one! Criticism welcomed.

Dead and Breathing

Some words will never fall from her lips
And yet she’ll still allow the tears to drip
They move slow, like ice on water grips
And fall like dreadful water, iceberg tips
Move slowly and slower and they fall, as nothing else can whip
Pain into someone so fast, then words from lips.

And they fall and fall and land like dread
And have no power to raise from the dead
Those who mourn and those who live
To tell the tale of all to give
And none to take, and all to lose
And tears can tie tight a knot in a rope noose.

They drip and fall into clothes that hide
Drops of water and all besides
They could be water, could be salt, could show the pain, and sometimes not
A nose could run and eyes were red.
Tears have no power to raise the dead.
And yet, she hopes, she prays and fears, and wishes and cries and hides the tears

They tell her it’ll all be alright
She doesn’t believe it; there's no end in sight
To her at least, this lasts forever
And grief will burn away the weather.
Pathetic fallacy seems far too apt for stuff like this where words fail and tongues cease to move
And love seems to stop in favour of kindness to soothe

That angry fire she cannot get rid of that burns under her skin and veins
And crossed into her body from her brain
And sets her alight in righteous flame
And she screams in pointless anger for wishes she cannot have
For nothing can raise the dead and righteous anger is a fad.
And people do not come back from the dead and that is dreadfully sad.

The boiling point has reached her but she has not reached it yet
And screams of grief have been told to beget
Pain and loss and more besides, emotions that seem to have no name but still reside
In a place where no-one else can reach, where pointless anger sears like bleach
On cuts that no-one else can make aside from those she thought were close
Who now reside six-feet-under in nightmare ghosts.

And grief does not go away, you learn to live with it, day-by-day
And sometimes it’ll still take you by surprise
How tears can burn the backs of your eyes
And love is gone and all that’s left
Are ghosts of the living, named carelessly Bereft.

When ghosts walk upon this mortal plain
It will bring most not love, but pain
For there are only so many words that could unite
Those who are dead, with those who are alive
And those will not work on those who left
Their children, partners, parents, friends to mourn in the rift

Between the dead and the living, though really, they are not so different after all.
And she wonders, vaguely, if you can be dead and breathing.
‘Camilla.’
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Submitted on March 14, 2021

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Lilah Ainsworth

Hi! My name is Lilah Ainsworth and I'm a (now published!) teenage poet. I post here mostly for constructive criticism to better my style and for fun & stuff :-) more…

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