What Happens Now?
This is my consolation and the reason for hopeless staring at the ceiling.
To read between the lines
Look through the slits in between the fingers of my hands
What is felt can be separated from thoughts
And stretched thin like that
I could fade away
Wisps of light and shadow
The stuff that slides through obstacles
I shut my eyes, listening to silence
Can you tell me, can you tell me it will be all right?
That vast red desert and cloudy sky outside my window,
It mirrors my own parched and brutally raw landscape within myself.
It’s interminably cold, even when it shouldn’t be
Here, I almost hear voices I would have never recognized
And the kinds of dissonance I’ve never experienced, almost wish I knew nothing about.
Should I be glad to be where I am?
I huddle into myself and try to hide from the slayers of idealess people
I have no idea, none at all, about there being anything to do for it now.
About whether I am still part of an us, or if there is anything for us to do at all.
That kind of fear, directionless, senseless
It makes me want to throw in the towel and wash dishes
It makes me want to watch a child
It makes me want to hold you.
Just forget about me and the countless irresolvable tensions between past girl and future woman
Forget about my struggle to find who I am, and then, "God help me," live with it
You’re like the only tree in an abandoned forest
The painful thing to realize is that there is no you at all
Just a longing for there to be,
So strong that I haven’t noticed the blindfold over my eyes
Or the boggy ground, foretelling of swamps
I don’t want to tear the band away from around my head, change direction
Loneliness is hollow ,
And loud, and ceaselessly screams at me
I will not let go, I cannot
This tide I came in on, with hopeful eyes
I didn’t see the undertow
Or the place where I’d be buried in sand
For your sake, or for hers, turn into a raven and soar away,
Take all the seeds and chick-filled eggs you can find
You can go somewhere else,
You can try again,
And yet the cries of everything gone, lost in the asking, tossed in the wind
And the buzz of fragmented, confused identities
And the strings on the instruments scattered over streets
Taut and ready to be played, but all the people who know how
Crouch in corners
Afraid to play, afraid to keep the silence around them—
It has hidden their voices in small paper boxes--these brushed-over, painted wounds,
Masks to hide that we are the same, unused words held taught between two faces as intent as stone.
You will continue to know them all in the silences
Regardless of when and where you close your eyes.
Run, run and don’t look back
And when you reach the water, you’ll know why you will never, ever escape
Reflections cannot lie
You’ve already noticed
So what will you do with all that sorrow and fear and uncertainty?
Lock it in a paper box?
Seal the edges of the box with tears?
If that happens, everything will begin to unthaw
And will we find solid ground
Under all that emotion, melting and pooling along the sides of roads
And under the foundations of houses?
After that there will be something clean and unrecognizable to work with
Who a person is before she loses self-governance.
Kant had it wrong, though
Self authorship is not all in our heads
Nor are the wounds caused by playing into the hands of others
Simply worn-out songs whose titles and words we cannot recall.
I wish you were, and that you were here
Because the child in me that never grew up
Is also torn apart, remembers tears and cannot say why
And doesn’t understand betrayal
And longs for you to hold her again.