Late at night it whispers that it will be my undoing.
So I light candles, burn incense,
read poems out loud,
until the only voice in my head is my own.
Some mornings I wake
to find it perched at the end of my bed. It tells me to stay put,
stay still, stay small.
I close my eyes. Count to three.
Why don’t you leave? I ask
through clenched teeth.
Who would you be without me?
It slips out of dark alleyways, around corners,
always a few steps behind - my closest companion.
One sunny day in March,
it grabs me by the arm and tells me
No one will save you.
I’ll save myself.
Elena is a self-described bibliophile, and relentless optimist. She lives and teaches on unceded Duwamish territory, known in English as Seattle, WA. You can often find her running around outside, splashing in puddles, and looking at bugs with her preschoolers. This is her second time being published in Persephone's Daughters. Her favorite authors are Meggie Royer, Mary Oliver, and Cheryl Strayed.