grinding ‘til the sandy calcium and my saliva churn out pearls,
and i will wear them as a necklace,
brushing against my collarbones,
and you will know what it is like to be worn out by the idea of a person.
i want to shave your hair to a barren field,
acutely aware of the awkward angle of each coarse mine,
tucked away inside the foothold of each spilling word,
sticking out askew of your scalp
as if you know that
it hurts just as much to display what you don't feel
as it is what you do.
i want to carve your nails into patterns,
sculpt a cameo into each of twenty rough canvasses,
forgetting that, of course, the blood inside will anguish and pour,
making for a red-splattered enamel engraving
instead of the delicate layered radish display i had so wanted,
who doesn't remember how it feels to get everything you wished for
but not quite.
i want to forget that unbearable tightness of feeling,
scrape and scrape into my stomach to remove the nervousness
that i so relished in when i was thirteen,
fourteen, fifteen, sixteen,
but now i am seventeen and there seems to be a difference in me,
less "him" storming the towers and more "me"
smashing the brick without help,
and i've accepted that he could have been my prince,
were we not so scared, but we were, and i am,
but not about him anymore.
i want to know that i encompass the best of her,
that i can wear their promise on my left middle finger
like the precious irony in her strength and her weakness
and embody her grace and her poise and her unconditional love
and his constance and his authoritative youth
and it's not feeling so sad,
so long as i can remember to thank her for her years with me,
even if i allow myself to remember that
when it mattered most,
i want to forgive myself for my "maybe next time"s,
forgive myself for writhing in my own agony when i realised
there wouldn't be a "next time,"
reconciling my slippery, coiling feelings in the sensation
of wrapping myself in reconstructed cloth and unfamiliar stitchwork
but soaking it in something that was distinctly
me and her,
and i feel better despite chipping my teeth on your bones
and nicking my hairline with metal
(in vague honour of her, i think now, with more wisdom than i should have at seventeen)
and filing my fingers to marrow and pulp.
i want to feel okay with the fact that i feel okay,
and i don't need to prove it with "strength" or
the overwrought words of someone who knows a similar pain
but who will never know mine or hers or even his hers;
it is my bough to bear,
my five-year maybe-love and my sixteen-year definite-love,
that will sit in a crevice between my heart and my lungs
and i will wrap it in shriveled-up flower buds
that have somehow lived when she did not
and scraps of my own life.
somehow, i know it will thrive.