Each time they demanded I caved,
giving just a bit more, just a bit more,
always emptying, never replenishing.
I’ve given so much of myself
I’ve forgotten who I was to begin with.
too many are frayed, jagged,
others imperfect recreations of faulty memory
and whole sections gone, vanished, black holes
where vital life force once flowed.
When I look in the mirror now –
I keep expecting a missing nose,
a hole in my throat.
My heart gone for sure . . . .
feathered away in fragments.
When, as a child, I lay in the night’s grass,
staring up at the Milky way,
there were so many stars, eons of them –
a wide, white swath cut through the dark,
bringing hope in silver rays.
Somehow the stars have faded now,
there are fewer, none so bright . . .
there is so much more night in my life.
My body is bruised from bumping into the unseen.
I should have been more selfish,
holding onto the pieces of me,
because one woman’s treasures
are another person’s garbage.
My heart is a cast-off in some musty attic,
caught in the dark,
with all the night’s lost stars.