my slaves

what if my unexplainable depression 
is unrealised compassion 

for my family crawling through sawdust rock in Aleppo 
for my little sister sister sitting on a chair outside the karaoke bar in Phnom Penh in her small skirt with painted face, tall heels to heighten her small frame
for my child brother fighting someone's war, 

what if my hyperventilating breaths 
are in sync with your burning heart 

as bombs rain over my father's city and my mother cries into his chest,
as my sister gulps, chokes, water in a sinking boat turned away from my shore,
as my sister walks through dust with dry throat, parched,
as my brother's chest heaves, empty, bulged. 

what if my clamour for control 
is my denial of your pain,

older brother lying awake hours later, empty,
little brother pointing gun at man he does not know, 
mum and dad screaming at little boy to crawl, run, 
mum and dad 
beating heart 

little sister 

my family are slaves,
and my unexplainable depression makes sense now,
and so does the panic that doesn't easily cease. 

my family are slaves,
and i am their keeper. 

i fight insivible lords for peace of mind,
i create environment and relationship that sits in the palm of my hand,

i lock my family in a cage
because i want my control
i want my peace of mind 
i want your success to hold 

and my family are my slaves,
because i am their only keeper 

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