Jillian Dombrowski

Hope is a thing that rises and falls with us.


It’s a thing of beauty, a rarity found only in the few and far between. Taking you from your darkened wall in the corner of the chaotic room, it leads you outside, brings you a warmth you haven’t felt in a while. 


It lights up your world, brings you a sense of confidence, of action. You can do anything because you believe you can, you feel it in your core. Things will get better, this too shall pass. Keep your head up, the situation will resolve.


Hope knows no bounds, it spirals with delirium, makes us drunk and high with an unquenchable rush. It fools your senses, presses the wool to your eyes, and whispers in your ear to trust it. You take it for granted. How could you not?


It makes you delirious, makes you believe that every fruitless situation can be saved, every damaged person can be salvaged. It sends you running feverishly through the scrapyard of broken things, an endless search for something lost, but never found.


It builds you up, then sends the tides to flood your borders until you collapse, lost to the dark blue ocean. You sink, the water mixing with the despair in your lungs, choking you. But all you can see is hope’s gentle light, floating on the surface, watching you from above. You can almost feel its warmth.


I wonder if Pandora knew, as she hastily tore the lid from the jar, after all the plagues and all the deaths, the dark demons scattering to the clear blue sky with a hellish shriek, what monster lay at the very bottom—


Hope is one of the most dangerous evils in this world, for it breaks you down from the inside out. Then, and only then, do you feel your house–of–cards structure begin to fall. You fall to your knees, chest torn open, your ribcage the only thing guarding your wounded heart. 


The world is falling apart as we speak, yet all you can do is smile through your tears.






Hope is a thing with wings. It floats and flies in search of those most desperate, trapped in the throes of their despair.


Hope is the one who finds you, locked in a darkened bathroom at night,  eyes screwed shut enough to see spots. The relentless, angry buzzing rises again, filling the hallways of the place that is supposed to be home. The darkness is caving in, growing stronger as it nears you, tormenting you. It hisses and seizes your ribs, attempting to shake your heart loose. But then it dissipates, sensing a new presence.


Hope goes and sits beside you, never interfering, never touching, simply just there, its soft presence radiating amongst the cold dark tile, the small oceans at your feet. 


Minutes pass. Then an hour. You open your eyes.


Hope is the one that guides your hand to the pen, the pen to the page, opens the floodgates and pushes you to spill everything. You sever all your ties and watch them bleed out over the lines. As you do, you feel a bit lighter, the storm passing but not fully clearing. It may never, but you feel just a bit bigger than before. 




Hope is a complex thing. One moment it leads you blindly down a well, the next it extends a hand, helping you slowly rise up and out, encouraging you to walk again. The sun will be warm tomorrow. And there you go.