The Brick Builder

By Isadora Petrovsky
Made of red dust and sediment
Stacked precisely
Cracks filled in
I build my walls again
You do not see me crumble
Though things always seem to fall apart
I quiver and shake
Breath is short, lungs close
The wall falls down again
I build it back up
Piece by Piece
Arms above head
Sucking in breath
Word spoken through fog
Cut like a knife
Red dust coagulates
Blood of my fears is pushed together again
The wall was strong once
When I didn’t have time to see
When the world revolved around work
Instead of me
It’s hard not to say I am weaker now
Despite my more fragile state
Yet I see things I didn’t before
Pride instead of hate
I used to muse for minutes
Fleeing thoughts
Alone with myself
I now hardly seem able to write a poem
Or sit and contemplate for a spell
I know I must try harder
And yet that seems the issue too
Is to relax deserved or another symptom of you?
Do better for yourself, I know that is what is true
But I guess that’s hard to do when I’m alone with you
The mallet
The wrecking ball
Yet I build myself up differently each time you knock me down
Into myself of all things
Not the person I want to be
But the me inside of me
Brick building is the fucking worst
But I know no other way
Red dust fills my lungs
To breath out another day
Bricks that bend and withstand are ones I seek
I build myself anew
So, when the insufferable panic within
Breaks the wall
I know I have another job to do.


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