I was always fascinated by shadows
and the way they hugged the burning sidewalk
in spite of the summer heat that burned
my Oden’s worn paws.
I remember hearing that his heart has stopped
beating after so many years of running and trying
in spite of the way my mother drenched
him in her disdain.
I remember wondering if the shadows really were
so simple as areas shaded from the sun because
I swear I could see them drifting alongside the car
and lulling me to a dreamless sleep.
I wonder now if shadows are the in-betweens,
the ones coming back later, the reincarnates. I
wonder if we all pass through the earth again
as drifting shadows to see the imprints
our lives had left.
I felt myself missing the nightmares,
missing the jagged edges I used to insert
into my waiting gullet. I hardly felt it.
I missed the cold. I missed the way
the air would become crystalline
before my eyes. I wondered if I could
grasp it in my gloved hands, just in case.
I missed the emptiness, the hollow sound
every step made against the pavement.
The echoes reverberated in my rib cage,
sending my heart stuttering through its beats.
I remembered the nightmares with startling clarity,
as if they had never left. I remembered that.
Now… now, I no longer just remember. I know,
and that knowledge fills the spaces between my
aching bones. It lends me oxygen, “just in case”.
My heart beats strong, in spite of its holes.
It dusts the cobwebs from my hope and
I know I’m not so forlorn after all.
I buy expensive plane tickets to
the far corners of the earth, thinking
maybe if I have enough plane tickets
and pictures and souvenirs I will
be able to paste my skin back together
and my scars will be consumed
by the life I have built around me.
I’ve danced nakedly in the light of the moon,
basking in the illusion that I’ve created for myself.
My skin is marble, milky and smoothed after
years of exposure to the elements,
now taken in to be used as a decoration
for a life it’s not really a part of.
They say the grass is greener on the other side,
but your grass would be just as green if you could
just remember to turn on the sprinklers.