Before even my nothing of a body curled its neck
up against the softness of the embryonic form,
the thought of me was first conceived in
God’s palm and He passed me on as a whisper to meet the earth in its chromatic array.
I was only a shadow – an empty wind harboring potential.
Gentle and passing like the slight nod of a head,
a tonic promise adrift, brushing shoulders
with my mother
on sleepy afternoons and searching for the eyes
of my father.
I was a vacant spot in the universe and
fruition – nothing more than a dream.
I am Birth.
I missed the crescendo of my girlhood,
a movie-worthy summer stole it away.
I am a girl grasping the edges of the cosmos,
their ambiguity spilling greatness and
I am nothing except a set of crooked hands, reaching – reaching.
I once read about Van Gogh in all of his morbid loneliness,
The man with colors on his tongue and I imagined painting my organs yellow in protest, instead I swallow words that either weigh too much or break when I dare to breathe.
I lose things; misplaced the courage that I was saving up in the old shoe box under my bed.
And so now I tiptoe like an alley cat sliding past king dog’s garage.
What is it that looms over this astronomical
planet that I can only look up; try to capture
my escaping breath to station it back between the bones of my rib cage?
I glean the streets for approval, looking for it
in the eyes of passers by –
Dear mortal, make me worth the air I consume,
I am awkward and inelegant.
Dear amnesia, hit me but softly like a million origami paper planes.
And I threw rancorous cringes at the star-laced asphalt
(for the longest time)
until I was too tired to love anything.
I am the Zero Hour – the Climacteric Rush.
I landed somewhere between a nightly state of REM and coming to, mechanical gears twisting.
I will not choke on society and their end of the day summer cool,
rolling up nooses and CGI joviality –
glossy spheres claiming objective brilliance.
My stark opposition does not dignify the actions
of blank-faced image lords. You will not catch me
because I will run – because I will run.
There is confusion buzzing, something like
my separation means
staining the earth with the dark liquid of my veins.
They are wrong, they are blind.
I throw away the silicone heart I was crafting
between wearing facades, their abolishment is accompanied by
the tearing of the strings from these limbs.
The Emptiness is a pile of thorns using your flesh as a canvas,
a red maze of designs
etched by broken morsels of nothing trying to rewrite your humanity.
It prays you catch sick and die in your place.
I refuse to be its masterpiece.
I am my own.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.