I’m crying in a bar when a wise old cowboy turns to me and says
If you found love now, you’d run it right into the ground. I bet you sit around swallowing up everybody else’s light, wondering why you never end up being anything but midnight. I know people like you. People who’d beg on their knees for someone to share their bed then wind up wanting to smother their sleeping breath. I’d bet my life that you’re shit-scared of being caged. That you can’t abide being looked at for more than a spell. You ever sat down and faced any goddamn thing in your life? When I was your age, I burned through more than one chance with more than one good woman. I’d drank myself damn near to death when sadness — this thick, purple sadness — got me in a chokehold, crushed my cheek into the dirt. You think I fought it off? You think anyone’s that strong? I let that sadness fill me all the way up and only when it was done with me did I get up and dust off my knees. You can run ‘til the soles of your feet are hard and cracked as the earth, sweetheart, but I promise you this: there ain’t nobody in this world fast enough to outrun their own damn self.
Honey Baxter is a writer residing in Gloucestershire. They have a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University and their poetry was recently featured in Bad Betty Press’ Book of Bad Betties.