My Soul is on Fire

My soul is on fire
in another room,
in another house,
across town,
in a neighborhood
where I never go. Anymore.

My soul is on fire over there;
put in a place where it is safe to burn…
away from the children.
So it stays there somewhere; it sways there somewhere
in the hair of my daughter.
My soul burns there
in the sound of my children laughing,
sleeping,
breathing.

The fire contained,
the soul controlled by a distance just
far enough away
to not resemble
any part of me.
I don’t go there, anymore, Lord.

If I drove over there right now would I find myself?

What would it take dear Lord to bring it back? To house my soul again in this hollow chest where it belongs? How would it feel inside my ribs again? Would I dance? Paint? Grow breasts where the scars sit? Would I finally feel like me?

Because I am withering here, dear Lord;
I am dithering here, dear Lord.
Only motherhood keeps me moored here,
Dear Lord.

Decay
Disease
Decline
Divorce
Depression

Parts of my body rot and float away.
No matter.
My body made up my mind to leave long ago.
Cancer. Childbirth. Childhood. Trauma.
They all took their share.

So what’s a few less parts to pack?
I wasn’t using the memories of toddlers snuggling
and babies loving me.
The scent of children
left me long ago.

The flash of a
memory of those
babies dissolves
my bones down
to where
I live now.
Here now.

No love here.
No help here.
No tenderness, no touch. No acts of kindness.
No recognition of suffering. No laughter.
No evidence that I am actually alive.

What remains?
A body.
divorced
from itself.

My soul is on fire
in another room,
in another house,
across town,
in a neighborhood
where I never go.

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