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Regarding Lack

After Justin Phillip Reed

this chasm


inscribed emptiness. scrape half away and cram into mold. forced vacancy placed beside exposed thrum of heartbeat. always “when,” “you will.” i shroud my head with floral bedsheets, shivering at inevitability. love love love cascades into wide-eyed resentment.


this chasm is


laughter no longer negates demand. existence framed as childish. smother belonging. “what caused” “when you” “how could” “but, really” the kindest snuffing out of worth. red string fastened tight around a child’s finger. stitch it to the skin when it slips: blood does not alarm. “go forth and—”


this chasm is you


strip my ribcage for that which i lack: explanation. potential for conformity. easy exit label (trauma). invisibility as inability to achieve intimacy without unease. “the right one” is a falsity. blame loneliness on chosen aloneness and not “broken” and “eventually.”


this chasm is your imposition


bury “precursor.” for once, see a destination.

©Kaylee Schuler

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