For You, For Keeps

The writer sits in her designated writing spot. Well, her new designated writing spot. She’s had three in the last year, but a change of scenery is supposed to be a good thing for the mind.

The backspace key is worn, rickety on its plastic arms, waiting to fall off at just the wrong time. The letter M is faded, rubbed away by hundreds of failed presses. The period stands stark and strong. Waiting.

Her dog sighs in the corner. She looks up just as thunder rolls across the dusk sky. Clouds shiver in its wake. The writer pinches the bridge of her nose.

A silver chain trails across her mind’s eye. A long silver pendant, embossed with their saying. You’re my person. A gift, wrapped in a silver box, carefully chosen, but eventually forgotten.

You’re my person. Declarative, possessive. But ultimately useless.

The writer sets her fingers to the keyboard for the final time that day.

M,
The silence you gave me is all I hear now. 

The writer pounds the backspace key. It holds on, its grip tenuous. She begins again.

M,
How could you?

Backspace, backspace, backspace.

M,
You were my person, but was I yours?

Backspace.

M,
I miss you. 

 

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body snatched

I am so full and so empty

I fill my pockets with stones
and watch the scale tick tick tick to the right

I paint my face to avoid looking myself in the eye

I am a skeleton inside folds of skin
that I coat lovingly with cocoa butter
willing my own softness to seep back in

I look at old photographs and don’t recognize that girl
cheekbones lifted high in a colgate smile
eyes crinkled at the corners, shut against brilliant sun
skin summer smooth

I wonder when I slipped into her body
and where my own body has gone off to