Tired of running from responsibility


Mason Yarnell

This picture was taken the last time I felt truly stress and worry free. And I’m not really sure how this applies to my poem, but it feels right. *I know my hand is strangely placed I already stared at this picture for way too long*

And it all froze.


Time stops when my eyes flash up in a burst of sudden confidence,

only to meet yours and to feel insecure once again.

I watch you as you watch me.


My brain reassures me that I don’t look long enough

to see something in your eyes,

but my heart tells me that there is nothing to see—

glossed over is an empty soul.


You appear worn out, stretched thin: least to say, you are tired.

Intrusive thoughts come in and, once again,

sweep wild notions spurred in a moment’s doubt up to a place of recognizably and validation.

As I grasp for that tangibility to make you wear it like a t-shirt,

I feel it slipping, as I have you.


It was so slow that it could have easily gone unnoticed until I checked and found it missing,

but knowing us makes me routine in my paranoia—

so I noted you changing slowly into a specter.


You tell me that things have been hard, to say the least,

which you do.

Nonetheless, you speak more than you ever have before.

Nonetheless, you speak more than you ever have before. But I guess it isn’t what I want to hear, so it won’t count.”

But I guess it isn’t what I want to hear,

so it won’t count.


Your words sound foreign, almost too perfectly placed—

as if they are handcrafted, and as if you knew this was coming.

How do you know that,

no matter how much I tried to make you see, you saw nothing but a safety net.

And, eventually, I learned to see you as that, too—

because that was an observation that only I cared enough to make.


I watch as the camera pans out from you.

And the focus shifts and readjusts as its world on a screen completely changes.

And the world is blurry, at first, but I feel my eyes adjust

as the change in focal point rots my heart.


I watched.


I have to ask myself why your identity morphs into the single word.

Because I know that this will happen again

until we find something to be strangers about, 


and the cycle will continue.

And when you say that everything is going to be okay,

I believe you

like I have never believed anyone else in my life prior to that moment;

this is what it’s like

to be sick for you.