Somewhere. Between.

I’m somewhere between frozen stiff and burning down… somewhere between the concrete walls of all the foundation you’ve ever needed and the floating embers from a house fire that claimed the life of the stuffed animal you’ve kept with you since you were born. It’s ironic, isn’t it? Isn’t it ironic how beautiful you can make me as I am destroyed?

I’m forcing myself not to drink alone. It’s a habit I picked up in moderation that can’t be contained in this kind of drought. I’m drinking as much water as I possibly can, just trying and trying and trying to flush you out. It’s a darkness bred, not a darkness born. You feed the monster when it begs because your heart is too big to let any living thing starve… at least that’s what I do.

I know your shadow by heart. I didn’t recognize it so near to the door. Is that where the light has been coming from all this time? The shadow was cast in high relief on the floor, and the door must have been open to let the light in. Am I as blind as I seem?

I’m somewhere between shaky caffeine high and emotional comatose. It’s a wildness fed, not shooed. My wounds turn into venom when you ask to see them licked. Let me close my door and cry myself to sleep, please. Don’t ask the questions that make all the wounds feel deep, please. It’s polite to ignore the stitches when they’re covered, you know.

I’m forcing myself to sleep; forcing myself not to touch the memories in all the boxes that I’ve always considered myself weak for keeping. I’m forcing myself to eat; forcing myself not to stand knee deep in the knowing, not to stand with my head over my shoulder looking back the way you went.

I know your shadow by heart. It never occurred to me that the past was a blackness that followed you, and that I too would someday play my part.

Ashley Wylde
July 17th, 2015

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