Who Else Gets to Tell You When to Breathe?

August 8, 2011
Once upon a time
everything is possible.
There is nothing concrete.
There is no darkness
only golden sparks that bob and dance
like fireflies.
The sunlight and shadows dapple
patterns on the grass
the gently throbbing waves dropping
and sliding
a tiny crescendo
before merging with the lake once more.
The life-giving dirt between my toes
and the fresh tang of recent rain
are dumped unceremoniously
on the distant purple mountain range
almost too hazy to see.

Here, the almost imperceptible slither
of sky on sky
is synonymous with silence
and the time before the sun rises
is a siren song.
A shaken-not-stirred mix of crazy
and everything else.

This place started everything.
I won’t pretend to understand
because I am only the go-between
and yet I have the world inside me.
I absorb the essences
falling in buckets
and rivers
and other large things that hold
a lot of water.

I am everywhere.
In the incessant ticking
of the clock filling my ears and
cartwheeling in my skull.
In the myriad of downy silk-feather strings and
the soft swish between words
as my hand glides over the space and resets,
a typewriter.
There is no way that one second
or song
or symphony
could ever hold a single part
of who I am.
There’s just too much.

But having the world
in my chest is not all rainbows
and sunshine.
My heart is a compound fracture
of every time I have been hit
every time I have been double crossed
stabbed in the back
hurt.
A white blank page without promise
wishing to dance
in the colors a while.

Today,
the colors burn like fire
refusing to smooth out the achingly weak tremble in my voice,
fanning the fever
that runs along my entire body.

Today, I feel
pure
heart pounding fear.
I am alone
yet surrounded by those who would see me fall.
And she, she is everything that would ruin my world
all at once.
She says,
“This is the line.
Feel free to cross it but
if you do
don’t expect to find any friends on the other side.
Be complete
knowing you are incomplete.”
She tells me,
“Don’t you feel yourself tear in two every single day?
Don’t you feel yourself
fall?
Feel the silence
seeping
through your pores, feel
it fill you up until you can’t hold anymore?
You are alone.
No matter where you go,
there won’t be anyone
there for you.”

But today,
I refuse to listen.
Today, the only thing that fills my ears
is the song of the waves
and the perfect expanse of sky scraping
by, harmonizing with the melody
my siren croons lightly into the fragrant air.

Because this is my place
my haven
the one untouchable recess of my mind
that I refuse to let her take
and hold
and burn into ash
even though I will rise.
I am tired of rising
picking up the pieces of my broken mind
patching it back together,
hoping that next time
I won’t break for good.

I’m scared.
Scared that maybe
I won’t be fixable.
My pieces will simply scatter
and fly
like so many tiny scraps of paper
borne away on a gust of wind.

My safe place will fall
into the ground and
I will never be able to return.
The mountains will crumble into shards
of purple rubble,
and the waves will slap violently
against the unforgiving concrete
of a wasteland.
A place without rain
without silence
a place that is always full of the screech of tires
and the angry honking
of discordant hearts without love
or light.

This is why
I refuse to listen.
refuse to obey
to break that one final time and
never
come back together.

Today, I will stay whole
and dance in the soothing colors,
let them fill
my white blank heart
with the red of love and the green
of fresh mown grass,
the pale pink
of a rosy winter dawn only I
am awake to see.
The color will
seep
through my pores, fill
me up until I can’t hold any more
light.

I am the one in control here.
I am the maker
of my own life
the ruler of my own destiny.
I decide the how
and the why.
I am the one that tells you when to breathe.





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