The Light Destroys What It Cannot Catch

I put the overhaul in too
and these scattered bits
you called memory’s jar
off the shelf
off the cuff
a lot of words
cut like cloth
they ought only
lie still enough
to not knock us out
from under ourselves

in a single moment
your life has changed
and you are nothing
like you were before
but who will verify you,
who will let you pass?

and aren’t you a stranger
and aren’t your papers forged

and isn’t your ride late
and your destination
a bad place to be right now?

The weight is heavy
from either end
of you
and words won’t quite
do the trick

the thing is
no one can save you
from this
how shattering starts
from the bottom
up / your body’s
constant scar forming
in the night
and sleep itself
unable to hold you.

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (2018, Indolent Books) and editor of the forthcoming anthology What Keeps us Here: Songs from The Other Side of Trauma. In 2016 he founded the online literary arts and music journal Anti-Heroin Chic to provide a platform for often unheard voices, including those struggling with addiction, mental illness and Prison/confinement. He resides in upstate New York, in between balanced rocks and horse farms. He has never believed in anything as strongly as he does the power of poetry to help heal a shattered life. Read other articles by James.