I’m Still Burning

| by Abby Morrow |

I’m still burning. It started with a spark. No, a firecracker. No, a bomb. Three and a half years ago. But wasn’t it just yesterday? Or was it a lifetime ago? I had friends and family to help me stomp it out. I’m ok, I’m good, I’m strong, I’m brave: lies I told myself. Denial. He’s gone, dead. Gone. My fault? Maybe. I didn’t really process it fully until I replaced him. Did I really do that? It didn’t feel that way at the time. My existence can’t be a vigil forever. I made a new family. Don’t I deserve that? I’m still alive. I have to carve out something for myself, right? Then I left. I left, and the guilt amplified, ignited, burned up the past, making it more real than ever. How could I leave my baby? But he’s not a baby. He’s a corpse. Gone. My fault? Maybe. But I’m still here. Away, but here, with his sister, who never knew him. No one here knew him. I’m the only one who knows; the burden is all mine. The flames lick at my ankles. Running won’t help. Dousing them with liquor makes them surge. I’m on fire, still burning, brighter than ever, but dim at the same time. I could ask for help, but I’m ok, I’m good, I’m strong, I’m brave. Lies I tell myself. Denial. Tonight I’ll dream. Maybe I’ll see him. Tomorrow I’ll wake up. I’ll be sad. I always am. But I’ll also be ok, good, strong, and brave. They aren’t lies if I make myself believe. I have to, for his sister. I will make her his legacy. I will.

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