I wore gloves a lot before I turned 30 years old. Sometimes the sepia dreams are what move us into the technicolor future. I wish I’d accepted myself better back then. Drifting through some people’s gentle dreams and propelling others’ virulent nightmares – I don’t know how to reconcile being both the thunder and the rain.
Don’t push against my sawdust door. Don’t tell me it’s time to move on before I’ve picked my entrails up and packed them back into my suit of flesh. Don’t tell me it’s time to evolve my grief before I’ve had time to wring my cape of tears into my eroded calcified bucket of whispered sorrows. Don’t push me against the sawdust door of your expectations if you want to see me on the other side. Threads knotted full of drying calendula flowers crown my hair to ward off your rough skin, your night terrors, and the dead you have chained to your ankles and drag from grave to grave with your rapacious appetite for darkness.
Don’t push me across the road of nails unless you wish to impale yourself on the sharp crossing covered in martyrs crusted blood, because I will take you with me if you push too hard. I will take you places you can’t handle going. You are a child to this road, your skin is soft as a newborn’s and butter to the knife in my hand. Don’t push me across the road of nails in hopes I will crawl back across with lust for you, with need of you, with misery grinding in my head for you. I didn’t ask for anyone to follow me to this point, to this hardscrabble crossroads where not even the shortest most desperate chamomile plant will take root.
Don’t push my back against your impossibly stiff metal yardstick, I will rip it apart as though it was wet paper turning to grey soft pulp. It’s useless to me now. How long you think I should have lost my voice is immaterial to the truth which waits out an apocalypse of good intentions and earnest worship. I can’t climb you to the top of my mountain, you only get this high from losing, losing, losing. You haven’t lost enough to climb this high. This is where the suicides come to look at everything in the last seconds. This is as close as I get to real trust. Trust that this is where I belong. I belong to the rocks bleached by the baking of the sun, the scraping of this painful light across cloudless precipice. I belong to the edge where things don’t matter like they do at lower altitudes.
Don’t push me to the edge of your patience. That leash is shorter than you will ever admit. I know the truth of it, I smell it, I feel it, like an animal who can map the edges of human kindness, who can map the edges of its cage with no more than the air full of scent. I know your limitations better than you know them yourself but I don’t know my own. I don’t know how many weeks, how many months, how many years it will take my body to erase the punches from its surface. How long I will move through the sludge of this fear that seems to have no end and no boundaries. Your patience is like the fragile tissue of a poppy petal that wilts under light and heat and curls and burns under the most reluctant touch.
Don’t push me against my own sawdust door hoping for a miracle revelation. There are no miracles in these sorry hands. There are no miracles in this den of transportation dreams and hotel nightmares.