by Nat Raum
i bite off my middle fingernail
to keep myself quiet;
the fake opal you got
me on the beach
in cabo winks back.
the keys on my keyboard
that are the most worn
spell out the word “caress” and
i cannot remember the last time
i typed that word or felt
the chatter is jarring,
the jazz is smooth,
the people by the door
keep congratulating each other.
days go by where
i somehow do not think
of you when i charge through
the swelling mass in the halls, eyes
fixed on the linoleum.
(i want someone to congratulate me.)
my new room after you was blue,
and up at the top of stairs
i still couldn’t climb in the dark;
the fastest way home is still
through the park at night.
Nat Raum (they/she, b. 1996) is just trying their best right now. They are a multimedia artist and writer currently working towards their MFA at the University of Baltimore. Their work is primarily based on their experience living with C-PTSD and often takes the form of books and zines that combine writing and photography.