The Tortoise – By Lara Luzim

I feel like I’ve been running away from my past for too long
like sprinting from a bullet fresh out the trigger with my finger on the target
pushing forward into the sunset of my spotless mind
I keep trying to rewind time and recall the things I can’t remember
its just one or two memories I’ve convinced myself
no big deal…the question I answered knowingly
an agreement I made with lowered eyes full of shame and embarrassment
I took it on…the family secrets that molested my body and broke my heart
the gun is smoking and I’m choking from the long distance I’ve been running trying to endure and forget just to feel clean
there is a lump forming in my throat fighting to become my battle scream
like a phoenix rising from my perenium giving my soul a voice that has been silent for too long
I double take to catch my breath…in and out
I feel the pressure rise and fall
piercing my chest until I feel my unrest begin to freeze
I am paralyzed by the fear of not knowing if there is more to remember and allowing everyone else to forget that it ever happened
my body ravaged by all the amnesia…I’m standing still…
my feet barely able to move
how do I begin to forgive my past
how do I stop hiding from my truth
how do I integrate the fragments I’ve left behind
and give these pieces a home to feel safe in as I take in the scenery and notice the sunrise inside of me
rays of light sewing the punctured arteries back together
letting the blood flow…warming me…
I watch the bullet pass unable to out-fly its speed
feeling the buzz of its hum rushing by my ears
I hear it whisper
life is meant to be savored
enjoy the flavor
like a fairy without her wings
walking softly between the sky and the earth
I transform into the tortoise
slowly putting one foot in front of the other
carrying my home sweet home on my back
I feel weightless knowing all of me is right where is should be
I start to run this race for myself
no one else to keep up pace
giving myself forgiveness for my quickness is taking grace that I haven’t quite mastered
but I will not sequester its desire to tame me into my present self
I am beautiful
I am strong
I am worthy of this kind of wealth
and so are you…if you choose
to become the tortoise with me
we can shed the hare from our bodies and be naked with all our secrets to share
do you dare
become the champion of your own race
your own bullet that breaks the barriers of sound
so that every voice that was ever lost will be forever found

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