She is climbing the walls on the third floor,
alone in a room filled with people.
She has paused in her self-imposed strain.
She is upside-down
observing the room with closed eyes and soft breath.
She smells jasmine tea and exertion.
In slow motion, four fingernails dig into the plaster wall,
painted infirmary green.
With resistance, her forearm pushes the thick air away while
her fingers blossom open from her dry palm.
(A time-lapse film of a cabbage rose blooming into a
delicate pale pink sphere.)
She remains low and quiet while
an un-choreographed dance releases,
Without moving, she floats out the window.
A crisp blue wind blows over her faint body and
carries her away.
Unsettled, she moves through every room with swiftness.
Her eyes dart around each space which stimulates new thoughts before the previous ones have completed. Her gestures, as spontaneous as her thinking, alter her body into angular shapes that morph without clean transitions.
She is sharp like a jangled sound.
She walks to the desk, the bureau, the kitchen table. At each juncture she must pause to recollect why she is standing there. To find a paper? Fold the laundry? Clean the dishes?
What she set out to do moments prior is lost so she keeps moving in this stuttered state of being.
For a day, she starts and stops and starts again until at twilight, she gives herself permission to get in her bed, start anew tomorrow.
“She’d never had a more precise and strange notion of two places existing at the same time, of one same hour unfolding all over the world, and the instantaneous feeling brought her closer than ever before to everything she didn’t know.
How I know how to make things up all the way to the end – she was leading herself through an unwitting stubbornness to a point where in fact she was reaching whatever she’d wanted and yet couldn’t stand the thing she herself had created.”
The Chandelier, Clarice Lispector
Her lips and her nails are the same bright red as her stilettos –
adorned with rhinestones and chain encircling each
Her long red hair is closer to rust. It is dull, matted –
angry at suffering a lifetime of neglect and abuse.
Repeatedly, nervously, her hand lifts the stemless glass to
her crimson lips. She gulps ice water as if her life depends on it.
Across the table
he sips liquid that is the same faded orange as her hair,
from a crystal tumbler.
He is decades older, a businessman, in a dark grey suit
and salmon colored tie.
Her face holds a sad beauty.
She is not young. She is not old.
He stands to emphasize a point in his story.
She moves her fingertip across the surface of her phone,
smiles and shows him a photograph.
They laugh together.
Seated at the heavy wooden table inside the house
in the woods, she had already stopped bleeding.
She wrapped the last piece of golden wire around
the smooth silver cone of the miniature pliers.
It had to be the last
because she could no longer see.
a woman violently heaved dishes
towards her husband,
screaming in sadness and
It had to be the last
because her body could not conceive
Glass and ceramic hit the walls,
shattered across the floor
made splintering sounds
that threatened to
pierce the ceiling
and rain down
at the table.
She yearns to fly but
like the birch tree
that she is
Tethered to herself,
she wears the white bark like a
a natural wonder woman,
prepared for flight.
Her body hovers over a precipice
and she whispers
i don’t know
She is a bifurcated blur.
Part silent, part speed.
The split is
not torso cut from legs,
but a symmetrical divide,
left bone and right bone.
The design has cracked,
like the exoskeleton
of an old cockroach.
it drops open.
She’s a secret,
in her flowered dress,
the yellow room
collapsing in slow motion.
She is hiding inside of a string of words.
A bubble of thoughts.
It bursts open,
scatters characters chaotically
across a lined surface.
A pencil stroke erased in the dark.
It is out of her hands.
She is walking away as you read this line.
She lost her patience.
Watched it creep down the sidewalk
Levitate out the window
Become entombed in amber
Disintegrate to dust
Get dragged out to sea
She swallowed hard,