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The Paper Words - Lydia Landrum

Sometimes I find myself

Trying to put words to the sensations I feel inside myself

Like when my heart is racing

I put my hand

Over my heart

I say this is dread;

It’s full; it’s a wave

Of black ink

but it drips red

Drops of my own blood

Into my gut and it sickens

Me until I shake

And I say, this,

Holding myself where it hurts,

This, is suffering

Such simple words:

Characters on paper

That know absolutely nothing

About the human condition

But I feel compelled

To say them anyway

To put black ink back

To paper where it

Belongs and just

Maybe the soul in these

Pages has a heart

That can relate

So I count my friends on paper

Their little hearts I stain with black

On the nights when it doesn’t make sense

And I wait for one, a friend, to finally

Write me back


Lydia Landrum is from the south of the US. This is her first published poem.


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