How do I stand?
I stagger under this weight she says
this yoke of tears and heaviness
and mortality fastened
nailed to my shoulders like a cape…
be stone be impervious
and when worn down
over a millennium
you will be a monument
not merely broken.
How do I fade?
I want to hide she says
I want to cringe and crimp myself into small places
and walk in shadow and in long bandages
that I can unroll at will
move against the walls and step without stirring
the air and find your way under
the busy, the flashing, the crowded.
and live in that small corner of your head
without a window.
Swallow the key
cancel the newspaper, the milk, the cable tv.
How do I start over?
I want to build she says
I want to change.
I have outgrown this chrysalis,
it was supposed to be a gate, not a wall,
not a box,
not an oubliette.
I was supposed to learn how to fly
not fear the sky…
Tear it all down
and learn to live with the wreckage.
Try to find a pattern in the scars.
Try not to be ambushed,
not snared under the avalanche,
but ride the razing,
surf the demolition,
until you can stand
and face yourself.
How do I…
but she had run out of breath
and the answers held theirs