What would I do, if that were you –
trapped in a tower, devoured by fire?
If my choices were to pick your death – to choke on smoke or drop – and hope you land,
whole.

What would I do, if that were you,
and I had to let go of your hand?
Your soul –
leaving mine behind, aching in hope, shaking in hopelessness.

What would I do, if that were you,
r
unning from men, with evil intent?
If I had to keep you quiet, pleading, needing, lying that it’s a game, that I can keep you –
safe.

What would I do, if that were you,
listening in the dark for footsteps, waiting for violence,
your face –
staring back in final bloody silence, ebbing away, holding my gaze in betrayal.

What would I do, if that were you,
with drips and drains stuck in your veins?
If I had to watch your body dim you, eat you alive, while I had to survive?
Continue.

What would I do, if that were you,
and I could never, bring you,
back?
Your lack a black hole in my heart consuming everything that ever was.

What would I do, if that were you,
in the coach, on the ride, caught by the tide?
If I lost you to your life, on a trip, and you slip from my grasp in a gasp –
Gone.

What would I do, if that were you,
if it were me getting the call, screaming
they’re wrong?
Not you. Because I would have felt you leave me, heard your goodbye.

What would I do, if that were you,
in a place ripped by war, gore, and more your eyes shouldn’t see?
If I had to pick between a bomb,
or boat.

What would I do, if that were you,
at the mercy of waves and greed and cold and fate –
Afloat.
Face down and drifting out of reach – out of sight – to an indifferent beach where I will never find you.

What would I do, if that were me,
living between breaths, at the top of my lungs
scared to breath deep, to sleep, to wake, to make a mistake, to choose, to lose you –
Living in the freezing seizing no-man’s-land of ‘what if’
a looping gif I can’t escape,
that shapes my days and nights –
And yours.

The open jaws of panic, of doom, loom over me and block your light.
And in the dark I walk a tight-rope, sinew from my heart, re-started each day, pounding your name inside my chest,
stretched, round my neck like a noose.

Terror runs loose, and it rules supreme, its soundtrack a scream in waiting.
What would I do, if that were me,
and I could not see
an end,
But every, gritty, grating, end in between?

What would I do?

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