Trying to breathe

Emily Barylske

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Trying to breathe as you’re trapped under thick ice

It’s like trying to speak but you can’t find the words

Similar to an awkward silence during a speech

You’re drowning in your own thoughts

You’re screaming but the words won’t fall out

“Help me” you cry

But no one can hear your pleas

Maybe someone will reach in to pull you out

But momma told you to learn to swim

The only problem is you never bothered to learn how.

“Hold your breath” you tell yourself.

Awake, you find yourself lying in your bed no longer under ice

But you still feel the weight pressing you down.

“Move” your brain screams to your limbs, but you can’t.

You’re trapped and your roommate can’t understand.

They don’t understand how much it takes to pull yourself out of bed.

To pull yourself together despite everything screaming inside saying

“No. no. no. no. no

No. no. no. no. no. no.”