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I woke today with fantastic thoughts of shaking off these locks of loss that turn the face of the safe I fought for lack of a better battle. My fists can only reach my face when shackled like lobsters claws or dogs with muzzles. In pots or hot water spots like sun-shocked puddles. No panting whisper in any sense. Silence. Tail trod on for reference of true panic vs. this manic verse. Does honest pain bear the same name as two times ten times too many times the things I'm not saying? Or what about the things I do bear to you? Why is it never honest enough? Why does at the end of every strain of thought my mind clot up like it forgot it ever had a meaning? Did it even? Does it now? Or does it play its game and bow low, nose right to the knees, and like an origami beast leave with a breeze of relief like my childhood's fuzzy memories of gurgling stomach to take away the hunger pangs. At least temporarily.

I woke today with ribs like jaws that ached from loss of hands that once massaged the intercostal grooves. It's a strange and funny thing to lose when once it was my father's palm with long and calloused fingers strong. His interlocking hands once held the shell of man I am today. Or heart, as I was bloody raw in rags held by my mom. And saw whatever streets or seats of cards between that year and ninety-four when born was little Jaroslov. Weak and marked by shriveled body. The thought of what my mother first saw in him still haunts me like the still-born sister. I still can't know if my mom might miss her.

I think about grade eight and how I'd fake a pain to bring about a feeling of deserving the starvation and the swerving razor blade I plated like games between a fake maturity and my mental insecurities. That was seven years ago. I was SUPPOSED to spit and shout, outgrowing all the shit I did, but no. I still don't know if what I think are things to keep up there as terrifying glasses. Magnifying past and present strain I blame for all the passes that I saw in ways to cover up the fact that, oh god, sometimes I want it back.

The fact that some people live and give a shit for each other is a lover sentiment, just out of reach. This morning, I believe my ribs were struggling to contain me, just as min and body disobey like Judas kisses all around me. My ribs would break for every day I grew from what my dad could hold. My beating, fleshy little body, coddled once, now grows alone. I hate the fact it all made sense once, colors bright and family.

The words I knew and used for years are not enough:

Even I can't understand me.


from Walls, released June 29, 2015



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New Orleans Swim Team Edmonton, Alberta

Words by Jacob Ulickij.

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