The Carriage In Front Of The Horses: A Poem

I hugged my own body,

Rested my face on my upper arm,

My skin and flesh, strength,

Resilience, and held my self,

No matter what, as generously

As I could, the scent of my own skin

In my nose, breathing softly

Back into myself.


In me nested a sadness that I tried

To dance with, shake off, transform,

Speak to, solve, I couldn’t find the right

Verb, the right action, where did it come

From? This nervousness? This immense

Grief for the smallest of things? The depth

Attached to disappearing gestures.

The monkey bars of paranoia, obsession and



I watched people dig themselves into

The deepest holes. Never to resurface.

Never to come back up for air, for resolution,

For freedom, to themselves, who they could have

Been had they not endlessly and defencelessly

Listened to voices within themselves that didn’t mean well

And led them straight into self-destruction.


I told myself, in silent words, within my mind,

That every step my feet would take would lead

Me into the opposite direction of what I had witnessed.

The more skins I shed the more naked I felt and froze.


Had I shed them too quickly, cut them off

Too abruptly, unused, judged too harshly,

Had I not thought, felt it through, made my peace

Within myself, every single particle, had I stepped on them,

Never looked back, questioned my own actions,

My quest for renewal, circulation, thinking in obstacles,

Detached and dissolving, consolidating, a dam up to its

Neck in moss, swamps, dust and damp rust, had I shed

My own skins and voices and truths without having

Regenerated a substitute, without having been ready,

Had I been too handy with those scissors of mine,

Taken a million steps before having taken one,

Shed what was still alive and belonged to me

As I attached myself to thin air out of nowhere?

woman standing while wearing black blazer
Photo by Anna Shvets on


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