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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2020 - Vol. 17, Issue 4

"When You Stop Caring"

written by

Mari-Carmen Marin

I don’t want the morning to come. I don’t want to open my eyes. I don’t want to see the sunlight stream in through the slats of the blinds announcing the beginning of a new day as in nothing like yesterday, as in a brand-new start, while everything I’m feeling is so old and heavy that I can’t walk or even stand. So I lie down in bed, a wingless moth stuck in a spider web with nothing left to do but wait to die. Darkness helps me forget that I am still alive and I should fight. The calm in sadness brings silence to my mind, a sacred silence without voices screaming, demanding, demeaning, a silence swaddling me for sleep.

The phone rings and rings and rings, till it stops. It rings and rings and rings again. It stops. I know who it is. My husband is worried. How hard it must be to help put someone’s pieces together to see them break apart time and again. How frustrating! Tears roll down my cheeks and form a patch of my own blue funk in the pillow, a steady drizzle in the dark woods where I find myself dwelling. 

A few minutes later—maybe hours—he rushes into our bedroom, pulls back the curtains, opens the blinds, and grabs me in his arms. “We are going to the doctor’s office,” he says, without expecting a reply. With my arms around his neck and my head on his left shoulder, he carries the dead weight of my body, lifting the heavy burden of someone who has stopped caring.

Mari-Carmen Marin was born in Málaga, Spain, but moved to Houston, TX, in 2003, where she has found her second home. She is a professor of English at Lone Star College—Tomball, and enjoys dancing, drawing, reading, and writing poetry in her spare time. Writing poetry is her comfy chair in front of a fireplace on a stormy winter day.

Her work has appeared in several places, including, Wordriver Literary Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Dash Literary Journal, Months to Years, The Awakening Review, Lucky Jefferson, American Writers Review, Willowdown Books, and The Green Light Literary Journal.

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