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My Angel Wings

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You pin a peony behind my ear and bury bouquets of snapdragon in my pocket. You say that we can plant lavender for luck. Cook tortillas and thick soups full of vegetables and baked bread but don‘t eat them. You want a baby. The smells from the kitchen make my stomach ache and scream. The manor is quiet and our bed is full and your stomach, but I am empty. Like the sunroom or the nursery or drinking glasses and bowls. Like foam and wind and trees. Light, like air. This is how I tell you it is magic. Pure.

We cannot plant lavender for luck like you want to. You have to take me to the hospital now. You do not have to tell me, but I know that you are embarrassed that I am sick. You do not want to take me to group. To therapy. You say you want me back. You ask me when I’ll come to you. Or when I’ll come. I cannot tell you.

I do not know if I’ll be back.

The words die on your tongue now. There is a funeral in my mind. Little black caskets that hold the words you will never say. You are not brave enough or you are too scared. They all tell you it is alright to be scared but you try to be strong for me. You tell me that I need someone strong right now. But I know that you are scared. You tremble. The black caskets roll into the big dark cave in the back of your throat. You close your mouth. Press your swollen lips together. The words try to escape. I will never see them.

The moon was high, bright. It looked like it was covered in oil, peppered with cinnamon and orange chalk. You pulled my shirt over my head and ran your fingers over my rib cage. I felt like you were counting bones.

“What’s happened to you?” You said. I kissed your mouth, licked your throbbing tongue pushed my teeth into your skin. Sunk into you. You asked me “What are you doing to yourself?” You licked the wounds like they would close. Like they would heal by themselves- the skin pressing together; the blood pulling up into the air and blowing away like dust.

“You need help,” you said. But you never stopped so we could get help. We were together for one time after another. You kept smoothing your hand over my sunken in stomach. You looked like you were crying. Thick, hot tears even though I knew you rarely ever cried. Not when your parent’s died. Not when you found me. We found each other. I thought that would have made you cry most.

You wanted me to come back.

You tell me now that you were crying then. “I thought I was going to lose you,” you say. “I still do.”

I promise myself that one day I will come back to you.

The hospital is hot and smells like chlorine from a pool. I am sweating and my gown is sticking to my breasts and thighs. You sit on the edge of the bed, tucking the blanket in around my feet. You are worried.

The monitor jumps and trembles. Quaking. Pounding. The sweat glistens and shines bright like a cream opal. It looks like rainbow glitter. Sparkling below my thin, light hair. You have not touched me. The salt water sweat pools at my nipples.

I put your hand to my head to touch my hair but you say no. “It will fall out.” You smile, but it is fake. I can read you so well now. You say it is scary- that we’ve learned each other. You’ve learned too much of me.

I reach for your hand. Pull you down next to me. Whisper that I love you. You brush your fingers against my cheek. Light, like I will disappear. Maybe I will. I have hoped too for so long. You’ve kept me here. I love you. The nurse is beautiful and I wish she would talk to us both more. She comes in often. I wonder if you think she comes as much. I never do. You say you only have eyes for me. I want you to look at her.

The tears come easy at night. You hold me and say ‘I am here for you‘. I wish you would go to the nurse. Only sometimes. You finger the wires and hollow tubes with liquid pulsing through them and into my body. You tell me “Once I saw a fairy. You look like her, now.” I rub my chapped lips to the back of my hand and close my eyes. I think of the rainbow glitter salt sweat. There is a fairy with wings engraved on the underbelly of my silver wedding ring.

Sometimes I pretend I am an angel. All white hair and wings and liquid gold eyes. Or maybe green, like a forest or blue like the sea. I would bury you within the feathers of my wings. I could keep you there. I could send you to the nurse with the red hair and plain brown eyes. I would send you away so that I can make you happy. “I only have eyes for you.” I think your heart beats for someone else. Loud, beastly. Lovingly.

The monitor is not pounding anymore. It rolls, soft. I picture the feathers and you touch my hand. It is what I feel before you kiss my shoulder blade. My angel wings.

The therapist comes in and says “You can get through this. You can recover. I have.” I look at the woman. I picture thick, warm cakes with butter frosting and doughy pizza with lava cheese. Soft baked bread and honey. Things that are supposed to make you full but don’t. Things that leave you empty.

Everyone comes in and visits. They tell you that I look like and angel and you say “Yes. A hungry angel.” Everyone smiles and kisses the air but they do not touch me. They will not be back to visit. You tell me so. “Not until you get better.” The nurse feeds me through a tube. I am still empty. I want to press the tube out of me.

You kiss my shoulder, still. My angel wings.

The green light that danced and twirled across the static monitor is tiny. It looks thin, too. Like it does not eat. It is empty like I am. I think it wants to disappear like I do. It does.

You kiss my shoulder. My angel wings.

The black casket is not full of words. It is not full of food. It is empty. The blood has stopped racing through my veins like speed. My heart does not throb. It cannot pound when you touch me. When you touch my hand and kiss my cheek before I am put in the wet earth. Buried empty.

You kneel on the ground and throw in a handful of snapdragons. A peony. They are watered with salt water tears and rainbow salt sweat..

You plant lavender for luck. The nurse smells the garden and smiles. You do, too. But you only have eyes for me. Your heart beats for me. Loud, beastly. Lovingly. It pounds thick, hot. Like my angel wings.

I keep my promise and I come to you. I know you can feel me. Light, like I have always wanted. Brush against your shoulder. You smile and you cry when I touch you now. You whisper into the air, like you know that I am there. “Come back to me.” I want to cry, But I cannot. You cry tears for me because I can’t. “Come back to me.”

I kept my promise and I came back to you. I cannot stop coming to you. You tell the wind that you will never love anyone else. That you want to feel me. Touch me. I wish I was not empty anymore.

I wish that I could go back. I wish that I could listen to you. I would see the moon. You would pull off my shirt. You would say “you are beautiful.” I would kiss your mouth, lick your tongue, push my teeth into your skin. Sink into you. You would tell me I was beautiful. Lovely. You would say “You are the only one for me.” I would not have angel wings. I would have an angel. You would be my angel. I would not be yours.

I want to touch you, too. I want to tell you that I am sorry. I think that you can feel it.

I am sorry for being empty. I am sorry for thinking that I was not full from your love. I am sorry for leaving you alone. For not planting lavender with you like you wanted too.

I am sorry for being empty.

You are angry. You are angry that stone is all you see of me. That you cannot remember me when I was not an angel. You are sad that I am gone. That I have left you so I could be light. You are sad that I have disappeared. That I ever wanted to. You are not alone, although you are.

I promise myself, now, that I will always be with you. That I will devour the sun and the moon and the trees and drink the rivers and seas. Quench my thirst with lakes and oceans. Eat cotton candy clouds and mountains. I will live forever with you. I will never be empty. I will wrap you in my feather wings. Keep you safe. Listen to your heart beat for me. Loud. Kiss your shoulder blades. Your angel wings.





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