'The World We Knew': A Poem by Juliette Sebock


One of the symptoms is avoidance,

Avoiding talking, thinking, and remembering.

But I can't stop,

Talking and thinking and remembering.

I talk too much about the scene,

The set design and the crew,

The props I stole from backstage.

I avoid calling "line,"

Stumbling over the script

Like my hands once clung to your chest.

I think too much and think about

Thinking too much

—wouldn't Hamlet be proud?

I guess thoughts are all that are left after

Lady Macbeth falls

With hands and dress stained red.

I remember too much, at the worst times,

When that song plays or Bradley walks onstage

Or I'm alone in my room, forcing away the memory

That tells me your hand is on my hip,

Wandering to press against my throat.

So much is too much, that have to

Learn, how to dream, to avoid,

Dodging movies and songs and whatever

Tricks me into thinking the nightmare's still real.

I block the blogger who tweets her love for you--

But not you, just another entitled white boy with a sob story,

A warning, and eyes that look into her soul.

I block and dodge and, yes, avoid,

Because forgetting to remember isn't in the cards.


Juliette Sebock is the author of Mistakes Were Made and has poems appearing or forthcoming in a variety of publications. She is the founding editor of Nightingale & Sparrow and runs a lifestyle blog, For the Sake of Good Taste. When she isn't writing (and sometimes when she is), she can be found with a cup of coffee and her cat, Fitz. Juliette can be reached on her website or across social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

This photograph, 'Light Through Yonder Window' by Juliette Sebock, was shot at the Shakespeare home in Stratford-upon-Avon.

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