Nina Brav

Writer, Blogger, Entrepreneur

Familiar Stranger

Sometimes I don't know my own feelings.

I don't recognize them

when they awkwardly lift their hand

to waive or give a half smile,

expecting it returned. 

Nope, sorry, I can't easily remember

names or faces or apparently

neglected feelings

left behind on the side of the road

one cloudy Boston day. 

I may have seen one earlier,

creeping in the shadows,

hooded and mischievous.

(Maybe they don't want 

to be recognized?)

No, this one would rather tiptoe into me,

silently move about until,

when it is ready,

it pulls at my stomach lining

making me bleed.

The pain's so sudden,

I don't know it an attack.

Stomach ache? Cramps? Back pain,


But the pulling and tearing persists

and the tiptoes become stomps.

Only then do I remember

(what an awful reminder)

the last time they'd ripped at me.

Months ago

before the constant drinking

and numbness and casual sex.

Perhaps revenge for abandonment

so long ago when,

in truth,

I did it to survive.