The Marble Woman

Today I am tired. Which is to say,
I’m still not sleeping well. Which is to say,
for the first time in a long time
I am craving sleep.
Not rest, or relief, or a break from it all;
A sleep that promises a waking world.

It is not as futile as exhaustion,
More so a yearning to stop fighting
with myself; to put down the anxiety
and just be for a while.
When I let it go, I find traces of its grip
still imprinted in my skin, and I wonder
how long it will take for them to fade.
Will I be rubbing the scars forever?

Anxiety is so needy, so heavy.
The psychiatrist doesn’t know
how I’ve held it for this long.

I tell her I am a woman
carved from marble with a wishing-well heart
that goes all the way down.
There is not a more suited torch holder
in all the world.
People come from miles to see me,
to throw pennies in my well and leave
when I overflow with too many thoughts;
no longer pretty to look at.

It was a miracle that turned me into
stone, or maybe a curse,
it all depends on when you ask me.
But the stone that gave me the strength
to carry my anxiety allowed me to corrode;
to be weathered away by the elements;
by the very water in my well – I became

The psychiatrist doesn’t think I can be
the marble woman much longer. She tells me sculptures
do not last forever. I tell her,
sculptures do not last forever. I tell her,
neither do humans, and that’s
part of the problem.
But if the marble woman won’t live forever, then I guess
There’s no point in not being human. At least for a while.
A trial run.

I have decided I don’t want to crumble anymore.
I’m tired of watching as bits of myself
wash down the drain. I am tired of watching
my loved ones watch me, tired of being
babysat like tin foil in the microwave. I am
so tired of dragging my anger around by my ankles,
and I’m tired of never being satisfied with
myself –

Today I am tired. Which is to say,
I’m ready for sleep; ready for dream;
ready for sunlight on the windowsill.

Today I am tired. Which is to say,
I am ready for a new day.



Veronica Mattaboni

Veronica is an fiction and poetry author from Pennsylvania. She graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English: Writing and a minor in Creative Writing. Veronica's work has been featured in the GLVWG's Write Here, Write Now Anthology, Writer's Yoga Zine, and Daedalus. She has also worked as an Associate Editor with 823 on High, and as Editor in Chief of Literati.

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