I don’t know. I don’t know.
I keep rankling and I can’t really seem to even put it into words. I can’t. I can’t. I thought and thought about what would make me happy and that was me. I make me happy. Always. no excuses. no shortcuts. radical.
I think and think all the things that went wrong, that could go wrong and that did and could again. I cling to promises and words that evaporated when you were asked about them, meaning I guess that you didn’t really want them. were you placating them? me? I ask over and over and over again if I’m a fool. am I a fool? is this stupid? foolish? wishful? willful?
You told the truth and it broke me and you learned to tell a lie. or maybe you were finally honest? with you? with me? I don’t know. You said this to me and that to her and nothing to anyone else. Because you were trying to spin the sugar, but it’s so fragile and I can’t get purchase. It have no scaffolding, no spine. You’ll say what I need you to, what they need you to, and never what you mean. I’m afraid. What if you said what you mean? What would break then? someone.
What if everyone actually said what they mean? All these webs of spun sugar, spun glass, brittle, crack.
I’m chasing and you’re chasing and they’re chasing and nobody is circling back. I can’t un-see it and I can’t stop it, creeping in on quiet little cat feet, tiny waves licking.. licking.. dissolving. granule by granule.
Why am I always the witness?
Cassandra. It’s not a mirage.
The dancers dip and twist and sway and spin… spin… spin. I don’t know exactly what the debris will look like but I see every one of the cracks. brittle. sharp.
I know I’ll bleed. Everyone bleeds. I can see the shards already in the perfect tiers and spires. the glittery city we all made. I can see the shrapnel in my flesh. on their lips. I want to cry out to all of the dancers but the soundtrack is slowing down. I want to scramble. But nothing has my mark.
And I’m tired of that too. Why am I not indelible? Why is my bic-blue so easily smudged away? I draw and draw and draw and it’s like magic invisible ink.
I can see the spinning starting up again after the crash that hasn’t happened. After the crash. After the fall. After all of it. I’ll be here. I’m always here. I have been the witness. I held it. I’m left holding it. I see the band playing, her dancing away, the boy who wants everything, and the straw growing cold where it was left, my hands that couldn’t warm it, and the water man in a new embrace, and the boy who just wants someone to see him on his tirades over there, and the music men, and the girls and the hollower. and me vulnerable. tender and raw and skinless. guileless.
I see the little girl being brave in her Sunday best, so dressed up and ready and waiting like that, vulnerable. Her crinkly skirt and her itchy tights for nothing. She’s too soft. too soft. I see her laying on the floor at the top of the stairs.. broken. broken. crashed. torn. beaten. taken. the plastic bag is so tight on her head and she’s sure she will die.
The stick is digging into her back underneath her body. it will leave a scar that lovers trace with their fingertips. I see the shame burning her face. She is too loud. Too little. I see the bloody dixie cup with pale blue flowers. Her only flowers. Real flowers aren’t for her. I see him on a hunter green motel carpet. wet and still. Rose petals float away on tears and river and he is gone.
The acid in her stomach is burning. The blood is leaking from wounds that don’t heal. I see her teetering on the edge. searching the internet for how. she wants it fool proof. Who would care? Really. She knows the dancers dance on. and the gulf gets wider and wider and she’s watering down.
I see her screaming against the glass. pounding her useless bloodied fists. her rage made silent. her fear. her terror. her pain. Her spittle on silent glass. I see her walking streets at night that shine with a million oily shards in a cold moon. Again. Again. The streets. She sees the people in their homes. smiling. laughing. bored. Flowers. Messages. Words for them. for them.
Forever. Mine. Mark after mark after mark. gathering up all the wrong sorts of marks and never finding the right. Never finding ours. And breaking a little over and over for hollow words. knowing.
I’m tired. so tired. why aren’t you here. here. here. here. here.