• Karissa Chmil

Who Am I?

Some people love me and some people hate me, but every single one of them knows me.


Even you.


Sometimes I carry a sword and come whirling up to them, cold and silent, slicing open wounds that will smart and sting and never completely heal. Then they shrink back, cry out, cover their faces and weep.

Yet sometimes they call out to me, reach for me, their cracked voices lacing thin scars into a sky washed of all colors by their tears as they beg for me. Then I creep up to them and brush my hand on their cheek. Their skin will be burning like flames licking towards the sky, crackling like the wracking cough of death and despair. Then I’ll sing to them, care for them, heal them..

You see? I am no monster.

Some time people paint me differently than what I am. Sometimes they’ll say that everyone sees me differently and that it doesn’t matter what I truly am. Sometimes people lie about me. But I just curl my fist and close my eyes, trying to ignore it.

Sometimes no one believes me. Sometimes they push me away, clutching their wounds even as they pretend they’re fine. I try to drive my way back, pleading with them. Sometimes tears will slide down my cheeks and I’ll clench my jaw as they push away the one person that can set them free.

Sometimes people try to pretend that they invented me or even just discovered me, but I’ve been around longer than any of them. I’ve never been invented and I’ve never been discovered. I just am.

Sometimes I slip up to the prisons with keys in my hand. I’ll steal a look at the prisoners; they’re always moaning, clutching their heads, begging for it to stop. To be set free, to feel the breeze on their faces, to have peace wash through their hearts. Then I’ll gently slide the key into the lock and turn it. Sometimes they cry out as I do so, and I know it’s painful, that it hurts, but when it’s done, they’ll turn to me with faces like the rising sun of the morning.

Some people know me and some hate me, but every single one of them knows me.

Even you.

The question is. . .

Who am I?


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