Periphery

I’ve tried to say this before, in the wrong ways. 

Everything is real until it becomes true. 

Like standing straight up in my corner-enclosure shower in my first apartment, and I feel the water running down my back. I know the temperature has changed because it runs under my scalded feet, but I don’t notice the burns until I look down and think about how my feet used to be purple. Purple in the shadows and purple trapped in my mother’s rib cage. Maybe a bit of blue, too. And then there’s the grey. Grey in my peripheral vision, except when I pull open the curtain in the morning and look down on reality. 

Am I still saying it wrong? 

How do you describe a veil when you can’t see it? How to put it into fewer words… 

There’s a sea of people I know too well. And I’m mentioning you too much. They don’t care enough to notice or remember. Them and their oil-infused lungs, diving for potholes in between beats and meaningless deprecation they keep breathing back in. 

But there were some of us who’d just been dancing on the old school hill because we’ve both always felt behind and I’d learned that dance last minute, before the great descent. 

I could believe that. At least it felt like me. What can I do when there are wishes rushing back in all their truth? I know there’s a distance, but there’s nothing to tell me this isn’t where I’ve always been. Is that meant to scare me? 

I circle the drain, just a tease. Watch the leaves, tread the land, breathe the air- don’t dare to breathe in everything all at once. Standing over a new world, losing my mind, holding my head. 

How can I account for a change I’ve experienced but can’t make sense of? 

Water rushes down. All the same comfort as that way across the land and before time wasn’t a friend. 

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