Ransom Note from Your PTSD | Caroline Montgelas

Ransom Note From Your PTSD by Caroline Montgelas. Just to show you / I mean it, I’m going to hurt / things you love. / Bubble under your skin / like unbirthed lava. // I will be the bartender, / sliding the shots you’ll never / take down the glass-like surface / of your life. I’ll let you drown / in blurry-eyed shame. You’ll try / to rise again, reborn. // No. Not as a phoenix. / It won’t be that pretty. You’ll be ashy, / clawing for color and light / only to burn up again / in the ambient heartbreak. // I trapped you in a city of fire / where you wake up thinking / you can start again, but I sit down / next to you in summer subways, / my legs sticky next to yours, so / you have to peel yourself / from me like a bandaid/ on a seeping wound. // The price is your dignity. / The price is your relationships. /

The price is your sleep each night. // I will allow / you to walk through the everyday, / to love optimistically in the fluorescent / light of grocery stores, contented / car rides, a restaurant table for one. / You will run on adrenaline, / barter your lover’s heart. // The dark is mine, / when I burn like polar ice. / The hellish blue flame, / hypothermic blueprint of trauma / wakes you in sweat, asks you / to hit REPEAT, repeat, repeat, repeat. // Find me at dusk. Write me / metaphors. Paint my profile / in the golden hour light / so everyone knows you think I’m special. / Press diamonds from my coal: / call me beautiful. // Come alone. / Seek no help. / I can wait here / as long as it takes. / This is just between us. // Signed, PTSD

Caroline Montgelas (she/her) is a teacher and school administrator by day and a poet by night, early morning, lunch break, and whatever other time she can find to open her journal. She was chosen as a Stonybrook Children’s Literature Fellow in 2019, and is proud to have her first poem published in The Gravity of the Thing.