Maggie Brown

let it all out 

believe me when i tell you i feel the car crash coming
it’s waiting around corners and begging me to check my phone again
i can feel it hoping that i stop paying attention to my inspection
or oil change
or fuel gauge
it anticipates i make the wrong choices about my destination
miscalculate my k-turn
and end up a road burger.

when i hurt my back
i heard a dog punt yelp from my own throat
as the universe telling me to slow down.
but this wreck that is coming toward me
what does this say?

is this the point where i give up
or is it begging me not to?
is this the part where they tell me to stay in bed longer
so i learn that last lesson real good?

they’ll tell me to stop moving
let someone else carry my weight
and this
is what i’m scared of most.
more than the twinkle of glass shards on the pavement
the screeching of rubber across yards
more than my own skin shattering open
to sprinkle red glitter onto the blacktop
i am afraid that my body will be too heavy for them
to hoist off the ground and onto a stretcher.

i am well aware they have tools for this
that they’ve lifted much heavier people with ease
and my poundage is far from unbearable anymore
but i don’t think my body is just flesh
and i wonder how they’ll put whatever is on my shoulders over their’s.
i wonder who will visit me
if i make it past those crucial minutes
between my wreckage and a savior iv drip.

i tell myself i’m just paranoid
this is bordering self-pity
but the echo of empty blinkers against sirens
keeps blaring in the corner of my vision
i stopped trying to make sense of it.

the crash that keeps my eyes open while everyone else is asleep
never seems to be the one that anyone else will ever see
i wonder if putting the car in reverse and running it through the telephone pole
would make it come any faster
if getting the disaster over with will make it stop beckoning

i try to get to sleep before 3am
before the walls become roads
or cars kissing bumper to bumper
or miles keeping me locked away
before my slumber remembers how to escape.

Mantis

My heart is broken a thousand times
and I am a string of mistakes
a series of bloopers reels
wired together with ache

I have lived a thousand lifetimes
if just by taste alone

I have held more jobs in the palm of my hand
than years I have walked this earth

I have palmed more coin
than I ever placed in my pockets

yet there is still more road to hoe
there are still dishes to be done
and coffee to be grown
and things left unsaid

with a whirlwind as my vehicle
I the ever-passing cyclone
of luck and joy
of sorrow and chaos

my heart breaks a thousand times
for each life I have lived
for every car I haven’t stolen
for all the minutes that pass
where I do nothing

when I am alone
my voice is still.

Published 11-18-17

Maggie Danger Brown is a performance (and page) poet with a goofy smile and never enough time. She has competed at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2013 and at National Poetry Slam in 2016. Her work examines the human spirit: reminding us to be tender-hearted, to find the essence of who we are and still, to be fierce. When Maggie isn’t writing about feelings, she can be found singing on the side of NJ highways, giving pretty good hugs, and always looking at the night sky.

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