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Poetry

Parallels

When you look at my life and its tiny pieces of indulgence and grief and belonging,

You’ll see how desperately I clung to those holes in the swiss cheese of my resistance.

Resistance to what exactly, I’ve never quite figured out. 

I have the makeup of a revolutionary, but I enjoy my comforts too much, I am overwhelmed too easily. 

I see the faces of suffering and I sob on their eyelashes, dripping wet by the end of my self righteous pity party. 

Where do you go when the world appears desolate and forgotten, when your war cries are nothing but muted screams in a terrifying dream?

You know the dreams I mean…right?

Where you are trying to get everyone, no, anyone, to listen to you,

When you try to yell for help and there is suddenly soft cotton in your mouth,

Shouts caught in your raw throat, never to escape that pink prison.

You wake up sweating, cold, and alone, 

No matter whose head lies on the pillow next to your own. 

I find no hope in the news, no joy in staying current, I wish I didn’t know. 

If only I could be as ignorant as a nurse married to a cop, completely complicit in the system, loving my dog and my friends, screaming,

I love my life!

I love my life!

You tried to fit me into that box, working construction and drinking beer with the boys, falling behind but never even realizing it. 

I felt sorry for you then, when I was full of anxious energy, full of podcasts and articles and my sense that you were stupid.

I’ll admit it, I thought you were stupid. 

But maybe I envy what I saw as stupidity. 

Maybe I confused stupidity with acceptance and maybe I confused stupidity with real joy. 

Tomorrow you’ll probably wake up and kiss your wife on the cheek, and she’ll make you bacon and eggs. 

You’ll put on clothes she washed and ironed fresh for you, and you’ll drink coffee while you scroll on your phone, liking every photo of everyone you know from school (and still talk to on the regular). 

You will get into your new car, still with that smell you love.

You will drive to work and feel blessed to have a job at all. 

It is beautiful and simple, and you are happier than I will ever be.

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by Kati Russ

I am a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in English. I love traveling, bubble baths, poetry, and capturing my life through writing. I believe that we all need to live in this current moment and appreciate the beauty of it all.

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