Praying by Jasmina Kuenzli

The door slammed
And it shook the whole house
He left again
Screeched away in a waiting car

The house is silent
But for the hum of the TV
Which makes my little brother escape
Even though it doesn’t drown out
The sound of my mom sobbing

I know I should comfort her
“It’s just a phase.”
“He’ll get it out of his system.”
“I’ll pray with you.”

But I don’t want to hold her
Because I’m not her mother
I’m her daughter and I’m breaking
And my hands are still shaking

I don’t want to see her cry
Because if I can’t cry
If I can’t fall apart
She shouldn’t either

I don’t want to pray with her
I don’t want to pray at all
Because if God is even listening
He’s not gonna save us

And I’m tired of watching our words
Float up into the air
And disappear
Acting like I think it’ll work

I shove my headphones into my ears
And I open up my laptop
I flex my fingers
The computer shakes

“This isn’t the first time,”
I write
“He’s in the ground
And he won’t pick himself up.”

He wrecked my house
His bedroom door
His car
His life
And I don’t want to save him anymore

Flames lick from my fingers
I am not praying
I am tired of waving down a plane
That will never land

And I am tired
Of shaking houses
And shaking hands
And the hum
Of my little brother’s TV

I am tired
Of holding everything together
Like there’s something worth saving

I am angry
Because he is gone
And she is crying
And I don’t have anyone
Except my words
My music
My stories

I am angry
Because tomorrow I will wake up
Even though it’s 2am now
I will go to school
I will be happy and well-rested
I will be perfect
I will not let it faze me

I will bury my laptop
Beneath a hundred passwords
Bury myself
Beneath a mountain of schoolwork

And I will rot
And hold my breath
Until I turn cold enough
To pray again

 

Jasmina Kuenzli
Jasmina Kuenzli holds a B.A. in History and English from Texas A&M University, where she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in English. More of Jasmina's poetry (as well as excerpts from her novels and short stories) can be found on her tumblr, jasminawritespoetry.tumblr.com.

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