Walking with your fevered footsteps falling soft. I am nothing,
the sum of your somethings, none of your everythings. I wanted to be
something. Something beyond your eyelashes curl gently upon swell of
smooth cheek, beyond those floorboards creaking - dried wax old and
curling - and your feet were dark, cracked, yellow-dirt testaments written
with your well-intentioned footfalls, as my voice called somewhere behind
lost, looking for something I had never possessed.
I saw yesterday through your stained glass mirrors, through my
rose colored deceptions, through the concrete, quick-sand, reflecting waters
of what had once been so certain and was now so scattered. Dust on old
tabletops and knick-knacks, and the fan swirls lightly, stirring it up, blinding
us both. Yesterday, you were sure you knew me, and I looked back to see
and wanted your certainties, but the mirrors were smooth and the colors were
wrong. I was being pulled under, but the reflection wasn't me, and I realized
that nothing of my yesterdays was ever truly mine, and you had never really
wanted to see from the start.
You are the void of everyone, of no one, of me pulling in upon myself.
All those voices who rose so softly singing of an end, but there were pauses
between the verse, silences in your singing, and I should have heard the quiet
seeping in, telling of false security and too many trusted assurances. I see your
face in everything no longer, I think. I want to look past the void of voices,
intentions, assurances I used to want to hear - to see the silence creeping, to
know where the vines grow up in soft tendrils sealing out the sound, even if it
means all I can ever know again is quiet.
Floating, I was above myself, wondering and foreign. She, he, they, you
were beside me but not, seeing something I couldn't, but tried, as I flashed back
in and was myself again - the being of flesh and eyes and a voice that was mine
and not distant. But the respite is always temporary, and someday soon I'll stand
again on the front steps waiting while the vision takes me and the cold air is nothing
on my lips. The screen door bangs shut behind someone else even though I am
alone, and all that I once was is below and strange and frighteningly not me. I will
be waiting for your voice, then, startling, to draw me once again towards the night
air, the cold and real and stinging, welcoming the frost.
I think, sometimes, that there is nothing but my hope here. The grass shushes
whispers of earth beneath my feet, the air tastes of a million plus people who breathe
and sigh, and it is all very real and sharp and vivid for me then. Standing in weird
clarity, I breathe deep, a car passes, the lights blink. I hear everything, those trees,
these voices, the night and air and humming. It is real there in that diamond-cut moment,
snaring me up in the web, sticky and unavoidable; and I stop, listen, remember, because
I live for this moment, these gathered shards, when all I know is everything, and I can
feel my lungs expand, shifting muscle and sinew, knowing they are mine, dreading when
the moment will pass - crystallizing amber, hard and opaque.
There are times when yesterday sleeps in quiet, safe slumber. Not drugged or
subdued, but somehow releasing the moment. There are times when I don't remind
myself to breathe, when you are around me, my reality, and I click the shutter shut,
preserving the peace. Someday, I want to live where yesterday is always resting,
where I don't need your perceptions to see the road ahead, where silence is comfort
even though the voices still sing, and I am never, ever, never left above myself and
waiting. I want to live in the world of clear eyes and true possessions, where I sing
lullabies to my what-have-beens, and my warm lips plant soft kisses sealing their
eyelids shut in fond farewell.