Vastly Personal

August 25, 2011
it’s all vastly personal.

the shape of my lips, my eyes, my face, my hair
the mark on the tip of my nose, on the side of my hip
the way my stomach curves,
the shape of my tiny fingers, and the length of my stubby nails
the fluctuating size of my legs, and the stretch marks that accompany it
the red spots that appear on my skin if something presses against me for too long
the rhythmic pounding of my feet and the struggling expansion of my lungs as I run
the aches and pains of joints too young to hurt
the way I carry myself on the back of my heels, with my weight put down
the blush that spreads over my face, every time, and gives me away
the person I see in the mirror when I am beautiful
the way I look, my physical being -
it’s vastly personal.
it’s all vastly, vastly personal.

yet they casually kiss and tell
and the y-chromosomes keep looking at me
until I go white and bite my lip so it’s blood-red
because it’s all vastly personal.
I think - what if wishes keep sinking
and no one comes around with a song on a boom-box in the rain
or curls up under a blanket on a stormy day and tells me secrets
or calls me when he’s in way over his head and lets slip that he trusts me
or leaves a note under my door that says, “I a-door you” and stares at me with eyes so filled with adoration that I can’t help but be scared and adore him back -
but I have to keep watching them kiss and tell, kiss and tell, kiss and tell
when he asks me, when they ask me
if I’ve been vastly personal, I’ll have to say, “no, no, no, no.”
that’s quite bad. that’s quite pathetic.
but it’s vastly personal.

if you knew that
you’d smile with that half-repressed smile
and I know you’d be thinking,
“oh, how young, how sweet, how naive.”
and blood would rush to my lips as I nibbled on them
and my blue eyes would fill with worry,
vibrant against my red hair, staring past you into
a world you couldn’t see because
it’s vastly personal.

I consider doing something about it -
mostly because your eyes stare at me from the dark
(sometimes they mingle with his eyes, with their eyes)
and your eyes are filled with ancient sadness
the unspeakable knowledge that our souls are floating together
that if physical reality was stripped away, your mind would still
understand mine, and mine would still understand yours,
but physical reality creates this impenetrable void between us
and the vastness of being personal is just another
massive divide for our souls to cross.
and the thought of those despondent eyes makes me
struggle and beg with the unbendable laws of the Universe
to let me help you, fight for you, trust in you
and maybe if I had been vastly personal . . .
I could understand all of you.

but my voice whispers, “Wait. Stop. Be special. You’re special.
what’s the point if it’s not
vastly personal.
you’ll regret it if it’s not
vastly personal.”
and it’s your voice that whispers it, too.

then his face is in front of mine and
we’re sitting on top of a table on campus
just as the summer is fading into autumn.
brown leaves cover the grass with a crunch
but the air is still warm, and a summer breeze
reminds us of the sunshine days we spent unaware of
each other’s existence.
his jacket smells like his dorm,
and his hand is under my chin,
pulling my face towards his
but I keep shaking it off and looking away, saying
“it’s vastly personal. it’s vastly personal.”
his eyes look hurt and betrayed.
his questioning pupils sear into mine.
I bury my face in his chest just to feel his arms around
me, and the truth is I’m afraid because it’s
the only time I’ve had to be vastly personal
and I think I’ll be terrible at it.

now I am back home and I’m
two years and 15 days away from then and him
and I still have time to be vastly personal.
but they’re telling me I should do it because
there is no personal, they think of themselves like communal property
or if not communal, just constantly gaining and losing new renters.
and they kiss and tell, kiss and tell, but those kisses were glorious
even if the telling didn’t mean much, and later the kisses didn’t either.
the vast personal-ness I speak of fills their eyes with questions
and mostly they’re just care-free and I envy them when
the only ramification they get from being so personal is
the complaint of sleepiness the next morning. they tell me I should
try it.

but I still think it’s all vastly personal.
especially now because . . .
you taught me I was special.
you showed me I was worth being waited for.
you made me see that little bits and pieces of myself were precious, because you coveted every drop of information about me like your last sip of water in the desert
you reveled not just in the mystery of my mind, but in the mystery of my heart and soul, too, in my history, in my opinions and favorites and joys and reactions,
you enjoyed every whiff of the the essence of my self, and you got the closest because you
paid attention to the most menial details of me.
you proved that menial details are vastly personal.
and isn’t this vastly more important than menial details?

always thought if he didn’t understand the why,
then he didn’t deserve the wait. but maybe I’m just
scared and can’t bring myself to be vastly personal
because he could end up breaking a little part of me
I didn’t want to give away.
or maybe I’m too scared of being vastly personal
because one day someone (him, or you, or them) is going to
find out that I haven’t been vastly personal.
then I’ll look like a naive little fool.
and that’s what I’m afraid of.

it’s all vastly personal.
but it will stay vastly personal, for now
until someone traces every freckle that dots my skin -
even if you stare at me with sad eyes.
even if he stares at me with hurt eyes.
even if they stare at me with judging eyes.
it’s all vastly personal.

and sometimes I wonder if it’s a good thing . . .
but that’s personal.





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