house surrounded with trees on grayscale photography


I can not write another word in this house. I’ve stripped the paint off the walls and the last ideas along with it. Pulled up the floorboards and dug for the last bit of creativity. There is nothing left in this home, and that feels fitting. Because, as you should know, it’s lonely here. Everything, the furniture, the appliances, the paintings, and books they’ve all left. Even the welcome matt kisses my feet with venom and sarcasm before disappearing. Whether it be my dog who jumped the fence or a lover sneaking out late at night, no one will cuddle me when that familiar chill licks my spine. If not a prison, what is this house I am trapping within? More importantly, keeping everyone else out and visitation a bitter reminder that I am only suitable for a temporary touch and not an everlasting embrace.

I can not write another word in this house. So I pack a bag, only for the day, aware that I will overstay my welcome and be asked to leave before nightfall. I bring my notepad and pen as well incase inspiration is a stranger I bump into. The sky is muddy with ash from the coastal flames, and I breathe it in with fondness. People cower away from me as I walk these streets to avoid contamination from my cough or loneliness because both are viruses. Young men and women only come into my sight to immediately leave it, which feels much more like home than I anticipated. Walking for hours without direction. My head pounding from the smoke, heart pounding from the burning fire of this universal truth that I, myself, were made for this, to walk amongst ashes and flames alone. My legs ache from hours of pushing pavement behind me. Maybe I’m the one that’s continuously been leaving people behind. I look up to find that I have walked the soles of my shoes bare only to have returned home. The welcome matt is gone. I turn the knob and enter through the front door, lock it behind me, so the prisoner won’t attempt another escape.

I’m back.

I remove my beaten shoes, sit on the floor with my legs folded in the most uncomfortable ways. I can’t write another word in the house, not a rhyme, paragraph, thought, or phrase. The only sentence that comes to mind is the death sentence of being me for the rest of my life. So I sit silently, legs folded until they are numb, praying my heart will do the same.

~R.K. Russell

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