Poetry

Underneath It All

“This is what it means to be me.
And it barely scratches the surface.”

This pain I feel. It’s a tangible, searing pain ripping through my body. It spreads out through my nerves like a wildfire and I cannot help but gasp out from the intensity. The ache it leaves behind is almost worst. Because the initial pain is fleeting, and I know that it will come to an end. It’s the aftermath that haunts me. When my body locks up and my muscles contract, leaving me feeling like I’ve been stretched out far too much and my muscles are screaming at me to let them shrink back to their normal size. But I know they won’t. They remain like that for days, sometimes weeks or months at a time.

This is what it means to live with just one aspect of fibromgalgia. It doesn’t even cover the other symptoms, the complex PTSD, and near-constant migraines that plague me.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

This is what it means
to be me.
And it barely
scratches the surface.

Poetry

Know This

“My love, I want you to know
how much I love you and all that you are.”

My love, I want you to know everything I’ve ever felt for you. I want you to understand how much I tried to be everything you deserved and more. How I wanted your life to be happy and safe. But it’s never that easy. Life is beautiful and tragic all at the same time. No matter how much we hope and pray, sooner or later, we will learn both sides of that coin. But for now, and as long as I can, I want nothing more than to protect you from that darkness. I want you to feel loved. With abandon. And never be afraid to love someone the same way. I hope you know how much I love you and all that you are. And no matter where you are, you will always carry a piece of me.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

I am always
with you.

Poetry

End Of Everything

“I wonder how I managed to find you.
How all the pieces of the puzzle
that was made of us came together.”

At the ending of everything, I often wonder what would have happened if there was a continuation. I wonder what the trees would whisper late into the night when the moon hits its apex. I wonder what the rain would wash away if it only kept going for another day. I wonder how I managed to find you. At that moment. In that room. How all the pieces fell into place like they were pieces of a puzzle that was made of us. And sometimes, I wonder if this constant state of feeling like I’m at the edge of oblivion will finally come to an end. Would that deep abyss cease to exist? Or would I be able to tell my feet to slowly back away from the unknown that awaits me from below.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

But no matter the question I ask,
I know the answers are always unknown.
Until the end comes.

Poetry

Full Body Tears

“Every cell in my body feels as if
it’s turned to tears.
Like my whole body is crying, too.”

These tears are spilling over my eyes at last. The drops fall so fast, they barely grace my checks as they fall like rain. Every cell in my body feels as if it’s turned to saline. Like my whole body is crying right along with me. And all I want to do is follow the waves out to sea. But I know I can’t. I know I have to keep going. Because I’m still alive. And that means I’m still fighting. Even through my weakest moments, I’m still fighting.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

I’m fighting
for my life.

Poetry

In Memoriam

“And the booming of cannon fire will be
the tell-tale heart, marking a long ago time
when my innocence was lost.”

What can I say about today other than the fact that I’ve lost the sense that there’s something here worth celebrating? Day after day, I hope that I’m stuck in some endless dream. An alternate, hellish reality that I don’t want to know. So when I hear the pops and crackles that mirror the sound of a war not far from my doorstep, I try to occupy my mind elsewhere. But the bitter memory of him will linger on my tongue. And the booming of cannon fire will be the tell-tale heart, marking a long ago time when my innocence was lost.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

For this is what it means
to be haunted by
my childhood monster.
Only he didn’t live
underneath my bed.
He just came to visit
during the cover of night.

Poetry

Admittance

“I still love you. With everything I am,
my heart is always going to be yours.”

I admit, I didn’t mean it when I said I got over you. You see, a heart can’t just stop loving someone when the brain tells it that it should. My heart refused to stop beating its whispers of your name. It never stopped aching to hear your voice. It never stopped beating for you. Do you know what I’m trying to say? If I knew how to turn back time and take it all back, I would. But everything’s changed. For better or worse, these are the results of our actions. And though none of it was your fault. That weight is mine to carry.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

I still love you.
With everything I am,
my heart is always
going to be yours.

Poetry

Second Chances

“My love, if I ever get a second chance,
I’ll keep my promise and keep you afloat.”

I remember the cadence of your voice. Traveling through the night. Carrying itself on the wind. And sometimes I think I still hear it. Especially in those moments when my heart hurts so much that I’m certain it’ll shatter into a million pieces inside my chest. All these emotions, these thoughts, pull me down. I call out for you, hoping against hope that you’ll answer and step out from the shadows. That you’ll smile at me and I’ll see the tiny wrinkles at the corners of your eyes. That smile that was always meant for me. And I hope, if my wish ever comes true, that I’ll be able to promise you that I’ll never fail you again. I’ll fight to keep you afloat.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

It’s my biggest regret.
Knowing I let you down
and I watched you
fade away.

Poetry

The Words

“I know the words I want to say.
I’ve been screaming them inside my head:
I love you. I love you.”

Sometimes, I know that something needs to be said. It nags at me like a thorn in my ribcage and sticks to the back of my throat like molasses. I know the words I want to say. I know them, because I’ve been screaming them inside my head for days or even weeks. These things that have changed, it’s not okay. Even though you say the opposite. It’s not okay to be broken. To let you bear the weight of everything but the demons I can’t vanquish. It’s not okay to be stuck in silence. To stand behind walls that seemed to rise out of the ground the instant the darkness was released. It’s not okay that I can’t seem to break free. Even though none of it was my fault, I can’t help but wonder how things could be different — if this darkness never became part of your life. But you chose to stay. How can words possibly convey what I feel? I love you. I love you. But that doesn’t even begin to cover what it really means to me.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

I love you
and all that you are.
For now, that’ll have
to be enough.

Poetry

Echoing Bones

“When my bones begin to echo,
know that all I want is your skin against mine
more than I need air.”

And this feeling that washes over me. It’s like a fever. When my bones begin to echo in tune with the ringing in my ears. When the heat rises to the surface of my flesh while my heart beats faster. It’s anticipation. It’s the waiting. The yearning. The need. Growing in the pit of my stomach and prickling over my skin with goosebumps. It’s that feeling when I crave something else to brush across my skin. Your lips. Your fingers. Anything. I want to feel you skin against mine more than I need air.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

So please, darling,
don’t keep me waiting.

Poetry

Heaven And Hell

“Maybe I was meant to know hell
well before death could ever take me
to appreciate the heaven of your presence.”

Maybe I was always meant for war. A birthright no one could have predicted. Maybe I was meant to know hell well before death could ever take me. Perhaps it was to better appreciate the heaven I feel when I’m in your presence. You see, I know how to fight to survive. I know how to square my shoulders and bear arms for the ones that matter. Because, you see, that is what being human means. And I will always fight by your side. Or wage war when you cannot.

© Sarah Doughty
2019

Maybe that’s why
death and I
have an accord.
I’ll never give up
until I’m ready.