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Beyond Your Control


By Kimberly Casey


How many times did it take

‘I’m never drinking again’

To stick?

How many nights spent

Wandering down dark city street

That swallowed your name

And spit you out, another ghost

Kept in the late-night sidewalk cracks

Finding home in the hearts

Of front-stoop-sinners

And off-rhythm-wanderers

To make you want to rethink

The way you got there?


I am trying to make it stick

But the more reasons unwind

From the web of blurred vision

And slurred speech, the more

I need a crutch to keep myself upright.

These demons are knocking my knees

And I can’t cloud them away for another day

They are here and loud

Screaming of the moments

I’ve misstepped

Again and again


The fists I flew into the faces of my friends

For the sake of stirring up stardust

The lovers tongues bitten bleeding

To silence the secrets I shouldn’t have spilled

The powders piled over a city of heartbeats

Trying so hard to quiet the noise

The cars driven too fast

Found in daylight driveways

With no recollection of their journey

The broken bodies

Wanting so badly to sever

Something new

Within someone other than themselves

The way a knife moved slow motion

Through the butter of a body

How it was so easy to hate

Myself for how it happened

Blaming the poison

That propelled events into play

How it was so easy to black out

Into a world without nightmares

And wake rested enough

To keep on trying


I am here in the daylight

Drinking up the clear coast

Trying to stop blaming myself

For the hurt that was done

When I was trying to distance

Mind from body

Now I swear this body

Is out to get my mind

Shaking and speechless

Steeped in self doubt


Is it possible to claim my damage

Without claiming to be a victim?

Why does owning what happened

Mean giving up a part of myself

That helped me survive until now

I know I am here, better, stronger, softer

Separate from self-destruction


Yet some nights I press

Knife to nostalgia

Crack open this survival shell

Test pressure and patience

Only ushered away gently

By the dawning of new daylight


But how long can it stick

Before a new kind of damage

Comes knocking, to take

Away a survivor song

I never asked to sing.

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