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Most Days I Want to Live by Gabrielle Calvocoressi


Some days I am farther along. And by that I mean: showers, yay, and perhaps breakfast. Standing barefoot in the kitchen making coffee before walking slowly back to my desk, careful not to spill. Then it’s off to writing, or whatever it is I can do in order to make enough to live by.

Some days I spill the coffee and I collapse to the floor in tears, wondering if I’ll ever be okay. And normal.

Some days it’s suddenly seven in the evening, and I’ve forgotten to have a bath, and fuck where have the hours gone and why do my shoulders hurt from being hunched over and shit pain shoots up from my elbow to my wrist. I munch absent-mindedly on a stale cookie and realise only too late that it’s my breakfast, lunch, and dinner altogether.

Some days I tell myself I’m really going to take out the garbage this time, and I do. I even take my meds.

You tell me over and over: I fucking love you. I hug the words to my chest like a talisman. Then I pick myself up, and all the other selves still lying on the cold floor in all the other days. I let the echo of your words travel to the darkest corners of myself. I say to no one in particular: I’m going to make it. Because I have to. Because I want to.

Most Days I Want to Live
Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Not all days. But most days
I do. Most days the garden’s
almost enough: little pink flowers
on the sage, even though
the man said we couldn’t eat
it. Not this kind. And I said,
Then, gosh. What’s the point?
The flowers themselves,
I suppose. The rain came
and then the hail came and my love
brought them in. Even tipped
over they look optimistic.
I know it’s too late to envy
the flowers. That century’s
over and done. And hope?
That’s a jinx. But I did set them
right. I patted them a little.
And prayed for myself, which
is embarrassing to admit
in this day and age. But I did it.
Because no one was looking
or listening anyway.

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This poem appeared in Southern Indiana Review, Volume 23, No.1, published by University of Southern Indiana, 2016. Shared here with profound gratitude.

Read more works by Gabrielle CalvocoressiFind books by this poet • Or view my library 

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[expand title=”Dear Reader” tag=”h6″]

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Comments (3)

  • Hi T

    1. I
    2. Have
    3. Missed
    4. You
    5. So
    6. Desperately

    I’m in a weird space where I haven’t been motivated to read anything lately, not even poetry. Not even a little bit of poetry. But something seized my chest when I saw the email, and I thought wow, I always thought my dream was to write. But my dream is to connect with people I’ve never met, for my words to reach through their screen and seize them. Thank you.

  • Beautiful poem. Please, keep on.

  • PSV

    I feel like I can trace the space between my scalp and cranial axis of where the numbness is etched on brain. Trying to exhale slowly as I drink your words in today…I find comfort knowing you exist in the spaces of my darkness. I feel less alone, knowing you are on this journey thousands of miles between us, still connected none the less.


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