I Can’t Promise You It’ll All Be Okay, But It Matters that You’re Here

Restore me,
to the places
I have known

a few who didn’t make it

they are lodged in a place just beneath my ribs
this is their story;
how we were patches of light
darkened too early
to push back against
everything that happened to us

come again

the most certain things
will alter in you soon

a field rots
and then it blooms

enter the room
with your body on fire
remember the story
that runs along the path of every scar
it’s ok to scream now

release it
but understand where it came from
and why
you had to hold on to it
for so long

this life, clearly, hurts more than it should

and contrary to what poets say
we are not made more beautiful because of it

we’re just here
until we’re not

and every storm splits the sky
to make just enough room for the morning light.



James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018) as well as the founding editor of Anti-Heroin Chic. Their work has appeared in Yes, Poetry, Gone Lawn, The Collidescope and Cobra Milk. They live by the simple but true motto that “feelings matter,” every shape and size of feeling. They believe that every small act of kindness makes an often unseen but significant difference in someone’s life and hope that their poems are a small piece of that.