I have held onto
A solitary breath
With a racing heart
But to let it go
Is to breathe in the unknown
And so I wait
Until my face turns blue
My lack of ambition to cry frightens me
It’s not that I’m not sad
I just stopped caring about it
I tell myself not to let the indifference carry me away
But I’m already floating in motionless skies
The thing we called love
Was but a fleeting thought
A mere whim that we should have slain
The moment it was excreted – bleeding – from the womb
It was born nonetheless
Starved of breath like a candle’s dying light
Prolonged too long
Taking us two as its victims in its villainous ventures
And we called it love.
I was afraid, gazing into the mirror. I was staring at myself, but I saw someone else. Heaps of white gauze crossed my face, bridging over my nose, barely missing my eyes.
What would I see when I took off that mask? I’d be exposed to things that would challenge my vanity, to be sure. I knew that this mask expertly hid all of the evidence of what had just occurred—stitches, swollen eyelids and bruised skin.
Excision. The more I thought about it, the more appropriate it seemed.
The spot of my excision once held cancer. Before that, it was a sunburn, and then, for years, a scar. I remember the day I acquired that scar. The sun gifted it to me on a hot Kansas day, as I float along the river with J. That scar endured two relationships, relationships that were excised from my life just like that cancer. My new face would carry a new scar, a new me. It would carry not a bit of the old.
Excise. Synonyms: remove, extract, cut away. Over the past few months, my life was excising bits and pieces of itself, one by one. Overwhelmingly so. Peaking with a seven-hour surgery. I felt pain; first emotional, then physical. Tears that I struggled to wipe away. But in the end, it would all heal. My skin would slowly mend, I’d plant new flowers on the other side of town. My life had turn upside down, but it had failed to beat me down.
Twenty tiny needles in my skin
Represent not pain or pleasure
To someone I used to be
Long before I acquired years of doubt, shame, fear, grief
These needles wield the power to set sailing two single tears – one for each cheek
As they break port, I imagine they hold every ill that’s ever fought against me
I let them slowly roll down my skin and off my chin
I’m neither sad nor happy
I am me
And I feel it so completely
I never have before
And I no longer hold each breath
And I no longer strain to contain 36 years of emotion in my skin
* Is this freedom? Or just strange musings in an acupuncturist’s office? *
There is the fear that somewhere deep inside me…
Locked away in the hidden chambers of my beating heart…
Lives my blood red blood that still flows from its vessel…
Threatening to carry abandoned feelings through the rest of my sleepy being…
In-motioning a rude awakening of emotion…
That I still could love you.