The lasting effects of a toxic workplace
when the insomnia settles in
The words won’t
Johanna M. Vining
So much to say to you, like
I sometimes leave the kitchen cabinets open
like leaving the door to my heart slightly ajar
which I guess could mean a couple things, but I think we both know
assumptions abound and I am remembering these past few months
you in the car before meeting my mother
me in the car looking at the mountains while you asked of my divorce
I didn’t want to say, but then my mouth door opened
mornings I pour this coffee down my throat
think of all the things my dreams were telling me, like
he’s the one! but what does that mean? it doesn’t matter, he is.
no verbalized supporting details, but I can’t argue
anxiety both more and less swollen
office drawer open, the pills roll in their amber case
folder covered, shut and relocked.
That was someone else, someone else, someone else.
Hum cutting the silence: I ask myself what it feels like to love,
but can’t give a good, solid answer because it keeps changing.
I want to say, this love, it keeps changing, but the words won’t
wrap themselves around my tongue, so I look to you.
I wake to the smell of skunk and coffee
packed week adrenaline
words still fresh on my lids
ghost in the bed unspoken and subtle
I remember, yes, but the past is swiftly fading
swaying arms around me, now.
No barrier pillow here.
Write about the things that make your mind spin
calm your inner ___
What happens after
Johanna M. Geiger
waiting for a connection
some sense that I am not utterly alone
thoughts: this meandering restless ness
resting place not comforted
hours, an evening
You’s — a seemingly endless number
eyes switching shut: left, right, switch
could be and happened
it happened and I am a mere distraction
he asked me once, “what are you doing with all these yous?”
and I couldn’t answer
but he wasn’t you.
he’s never you.