Wondering what is my limit
and if I've yet to hit it.

If I let it expand by choice or bodily necessity;

Before the monsters burst out of me
I must assess how much distress I can take
and I confess, this smile is not fake
because despite the dark I hide inside
within resides a ball of light
that fights with all its might. 

Even so 
the day does end with night.

Feels like I spin in place instead of orbiting space;
Try to face sun rays only
and ignore the dark side of my moon.

It feels like it's coming soon.
A break.
The kind that will make me or take me away.

What is my limit?
Have I yet to hit it?

Am I as strong as I think,
to tiptoe constantly on the brink of doom -
the tightrope that either ends in perpetual hope or a noose.

How much can this rubber band be stretched before it snaps from stress,
regress and lose my ability to hold it together under distress -

The PTSD getting the better of me.
Controversy of telling my story causing hesitation, 
pausing to keep others comfy.

Yet the more weight I put on my back
and unwind the slack it must be inevitable I'll run out of line,
run out of time and drown out there in the sea.
Will I be too far for someone to pull the rope back and save me?

I didn't will this upon myself -
Just the cards I’ve been dealt.
Felt the weight of the deck like hands squeezing around my neck
and I try to pry grim reaper’s fingers loose
so I can breathe through the tightening noose
because I choose life each time -

I don't want to die.
Want to cry instead 
than end up dead.
Yet the war of agony continues in my head,
threatens to infect my heart
and shred me apart.

What is my limit?
Have I yet to hit it?

Each time I think I've had enough
life throws more 
tough stuff 
and I gather the pieces in my arms
to avoid my loved ones being harmed by the shards.

Polish and deal with it on my own;
Yet each time I discard the crap life tosses into me like trash
the aftermath leaves a burning rash, cuts, bruises 
and broken bones
from the daily throwing of heavy stones. 

Wearing the crown of thorns compliantly,
as my guts are torn out of me -
A heap of organs that held pain deep -
How fucking morbid;
but how else do I explain this pain 
life laid at my feet?

Feet sinking fast into concrete
so I keep on moving, churning the mix
so I don’t become fixed in place.
I can’t let this harden me,
because that would be a disgrace.

What is my limit?
Have I yet to hit it?

All this trauma
I try to fit it 
into a tiny little box,
gift wrap these rocks 
that weigh me and
make them pretty,
place them under the tree 
pretending I don’t know what's under the tightly wrapped bows -
Memories of bruises and blows, punches and slaps,
of words that cut my psyche 
and settled deep into me.

Healed over the splinters 
so even when I move 
it still hurts me.
A bare tree exposed to everlasting winter.
But I won't let you see.
It's my responsibility.
I carry on with life cheerfully 
because these calluses I won't let define me.
Scars remind me that I hurt once
but heal each time -


Still I wonder when 
it will all cross a line
and if I will run out of time, 
if I’ll be finished or be fine.

what is my limit
and if 
I've yet to hit it.

[Kristina Rose Garcia 2021]

Published by misskris726

Bronx poet, artist and educator.

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