they expect her to be perfect
they expect her to be happy
they expect her to fine.
but she isn’t.
because they are blinded by the fake smiles that she
plasters on every morning when she wakes
from the nightmares that cripple her, the nightmares that
are her life.
every mistake and every bad decision,
every situation and every bad thing that she has ever seen,
in every dream.
flowing from her wrists without stopping and the darkness
that held her in its grasp until her father’s hands found hers
and pulled her back,
gasping with the pain and feeling the tears from her mother’s eyes
falling on her cheeks.
down to the ground in front of her
because he had sat in his walker and they had been joking
and he told her to push him, but the brakes were on and she didn’t
know and she couldn’t do anything as he fell back
with eyes wide to the ground and didn’t move,
wouldn’t respond to her and when the EMTs finally got there
and lifted him from the ground she could see the pool of blood
staining the sidewalk where his head had been.
and dark and she is nothing because in those nights
she doesn’t exist anymore and the mornings after
are the most terrifying because she has to wake up
into a world where she does exist.
when she will zone out and all of the sudden everything he has
ever yelled at her, every single time he has thrown her against a wall
and every strong grip or thrown book or bloody nose
starts to repeat in her head.
nightmares that are her past.