Bri Stokes
Apr 9, 2021

Loss is like a feverish nightmare
knit into misty threads of night.
It captures you.
Consumes you.
Throttles you with a quiet agony,
with an ache that won’t cease,
like a tick burrowed deep
in the concaves of your skull.

It engulfs you in awful, insistent clouds,
like the fat, gray specters
that scour through twilight,
like the hands and eyes of clever devils,
spilling forth from their fingertips
mad, inexorable storms.

But the lightning never cracks.
The thunder never rattles.
The rain only comes in deluges or drizzles,
never something suitable or serene,
never something quite in-between.

It claims and maims and regurgitates
caricatures of who
and what
and where you once were,
without guidance,
without answers,
lacking all semblance of pity,
without mercy — once within reach —
now rotting and mythic.

I should’ve told you how I felt.
I should’ve breathed and leapt and listened.

Bri Stokes

Writer. Poet. Your friendly neighborhood navel-gazer.