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When Water Breaks Inside


I thought about pouring my death chills and cold sweats down the
………. sink
my stomach said well, I guess, you think?
Because my worst memoirs defy the laws of physics

They make my body contort, stretch, distort
even against my greatest wishes
knee-deep in the wreckage, covered in soot, the sky is red
and the dust-devils are made of ash

I’ll look my people dead in the eye and into the mirror
like am I really worth this, I honestly have to ask
and I’m looking around this place, like hey, I’ve been here before in a
………. worse way

This is where people overdose
This is where the foundations of made-up minds crumble and decide
………. to take the first drink
This is where a few cousins of mine recently decided to commit
………. suicide

Even in writing this, I know I’ll sleep tonight, and do what I have to do
………. tomorrow

But I want you to wonder about my fellow indigenous men that don’t
………. leave this place
Like how the atrocities of colonialism made us be. And sealed some
………. fates, like that


I feel like water is pervading my eyes
Why is it so blurry?
I’m pretty sure it’s not just broken glasses
It might be years of bad habits
And continued practice
I wish I could tell you why I’m like this
My eyes are blurry
Tears are from a wellspring
Like the one my dad showed me to get water from
But now the water is pervading my eyes
It reaches up so hard
And I try my best to drink it all away—

But maybe it’s an oxymoron because it’s the cause
It’s that weak feeling in my chest
The one that makes me run
And feel unloved
I’m not even sure it makes sense
But I give it weight anyway
Like it would hold my hand in the deep dark
Or let me put my head on it to rest

They call it a dark night of the soul
Why am I here?
Why does it make my eyes water?
Why does it taste like tequila?
And why did I ask her to be my rehab?
She doesn’t deserve that

I guess I’ll wander away and hope she forgives me
I would like to wander on the moon
Because it might not be snow
It might be cold but the dark side is home
Until it’s not
Until I’m caught

It might be bright but at least it doesn’t cost a dollar
The disease festers on my heart and soul
And those things are my connection to the infinite
And that means I must promise you that I will visit those places
and bring you back things from there
It might take my life
It might not

I won’t let the dangerous spectre of that question linger any longer
………. than it has to
Because I proved it to myself once, or twice

I take my power of choice back

alexvanrocksloudvoice is a nêhiyawak napew (Cree man) from Ochapowace First Nation. His work has a exploratory emotional bent. He is a stage poet and hip hop artist.

Find him on Spotify

vallum_17-1_cover_webThis poem was originally published in Vallum issue 17:1 Home

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