Until Next Time

“It’s alright.”
I whisper in my head.
“You did well.”
I repeat behind cupped hands.
“It’s fine.”
I write over and over.
“Don’t worry.”
I breathe.
“Can’t change it.”
I run a hand through my hair.
I listen to music borne on nothing.
“Stop worrying.”
My heart pounds to the rhythm of the words.
“End of the line.”
I throw down my pens and papers.
“You’re safe.”
I immerse myself in different worlds.
“You’re free now.”
I say to the corner.
“Free to do.”
The scratching of my nails against blank paper.
“Smile and speak.”
I greet friends with empty eyes.
I do, and gently.
“Be content.”
I pray every night.
“It’s alright.”
But only until next time.
Next time.
And next time.
And next time.
It’s never alright until never ends.


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