ludmila andrea
Progressive Muscle Relaxation

i take a breath in
for these these knots to come undone
for the knife that carves doubt into my flesh
to get dull
counting down from ten… 
i pull my eyelids closed
like the dark, dusty drapes of an abandoned home
insulating the memories they keep inside
but some things need to be let go
seven… six…
i’m clenching my fists
progressive muscle relaxation works
but not on my bones
these bones that crack and creak with every movement
every thought
these lovely, haunted bones
that have been with me the whole time
my knuckles are white

pressing tips of numb fingers
into the flesh of my moistened palm
three… two…
my dusty, moth-bitten drapes.


The tea you made us is still hot.

I can smell you on my bedsheets.


salty tracks lead from

the corners of somber eyes

dried, not forgotten


The world could fall to pieces

right now

and even as my atoms splintered into powder,

I would smile

Entangled, like tree roots in a dense wood,

it’s impossible to tell your limbs from mine

My insecurities pull tight on my heart like stretched string

I let the brassy chaos of an uncertain existence

wait quietly at the periphery of my consciousness;

like lonely raindrops on a cloudy night.

rapping, unnoticed

I want to trace you with my fingertips

until I can read your body like braille.

Outlining each syllable onto my skin with your satin lips— I love you

the noisy ticking of time

becomes an unmenacing silence

and I close my eyes and smile

as the world around me crumbles

to dust


Every time someone asks me where I am from

I tell them a story of the city where I grew up

But when I think of home, I think only of your skin,

your smell,

the way  your fingers feel when they are woven into mine.

Every time  someone asks me where my home is

I lie.

Because they could never understand

what ‘home’ means

I am I

I am crass, calculated, careless, cautious.

I am this, I am that. I am fluid. I am static.

I am everything. I am nothing.

I am bursting from the seams with happiness. It flows out of every pore. I can’t stop it. I can’t help it.

I am hollow, gasping for air. Grasping for matter. Grey matter, anything. Something.

I am out of order. I am please try again later. I am nothing.

I am, am I?


nothing is forever.

even the little things

that seem so static, so normal,

so non-deserving of your attention

will one day be gone.

and on that day

you will look back with nostalgia,

trying your hardest to remember

the foggy details

of a life that once was.