all these poems about people leaving & not one
about how I convinced myself to stay.
I know what you want to hear —
that I slayed the dragon and swallowed my demons
and laughed in the face of my nightmares
and lived happily ever after —
but the truth is much more ordinary.
the truth is I breathe through the pain
even on the days it whistles between my ribs
on every inhale and every exhale
and I celebrate like hell
on the days it doesn’t make a sound.