she once forgot what it was
to sit in the sun,
clean, cool, and content
the sky above her, the ground beneath
she forgot what it was
to not flounder, but to float
to exist in a world not here, not there
but a space perfectly in between
in between places and homes
in between one stage and the next
in between her past and future worries
in between one life and another
she had never truly lived in such a liminal space
never imagined how beautiful it could be
to live, not in stasis, not in suspense,
but in perfect patience
because not every day needs to be dedicated to a purpose
not every heartbeat needs to be a frantic thud
not every breath needs to be a gasp for air
not every step needs to be a sprint to the end
some days can just exist in one moment, in one mode:
clean, cool, and content,
the sky above her, the ground beneath,
and the future stretched far beyond
#poetry #sun #content #warmth #relaxation
On a road trip to New Orleans,
my sister pointed out the vines engulfing the forest on either side of our car.
Do you see that? she asked.
Underneath all that kudzu, there were once trees.
What kudzu does,
is that it grows so completely around the native wildlife, that when the tree dies,
the kudzu leaves a perfect silhouette.
Oh, I responded.
And in the way that we always do on road trips, a silence ensued.
That silence took on more meaning, more depth
with time and miles travelled.
When we lost our mom,
it was in the gentle way that
kudzu slowly strangles an unsuspecting tree,
with the silent ferocity of complete breathlessness.
One day we looked away from a woman we recognized
and when we looked back, all that was left were vines
and the vague sense of sorrow
at seeing someone in the place of our mother, who is still yet not her.
And on and on we lived, looking around at the forest,
the forest that was once our home,
till leaves covered our eyes
and vines crept down our throats.
Some of us moved,
shedding debris as we went,
struggling to escape our last remaining constraints.
Some of us stayed behind with her,
at the center of our forest.
Some of us stayed behind,
gaze cast upon the woman we all lost long, long ago.
And sometimes I wish, still, that I could go back and hack my way back in.
Sometimes I wish that, deep, deep in the darkness,
I could find the mom I never truly had
saying hello, I’m here, I love you.
#loss #kudzu #sisters
The Creatures Unknown
When Robin runs in the woods, she sees monstrous, misshapen figures in the periphery of her vision. They are creeping creatures, who did not move so much as mist, who shiver and shimmer as she strains to see them.
The faster she runs, the more she sights the creatures. The edges of their skin settle, the gleam in their eyes steadies, and, as if they are two trains passing each other in a tunnel, Robin has one perfect moment where she can see the creatures in their entirety. When that happens, Robin is the run incarnate. Her body propels itself far beyond what she is capable of, the burden of gravity lifts from her legs, and Robin feels a power much greater than her gnawing at the force tethering her to the world outside the run.
The leaves around her burn like silver fire and the world falls into a gray oblivion. When she runs in the woods, mundanities cease to matter. When she runs, she feels the world bead up like droplets on her bare skin, flying off into the vast unknown she leaves behind her. Robin feels, but what she feels she does not know; whatever long forgotten world that exists solely between breaths and tree trunks becomes viscerally alive within her.
When she runs, Robin can see joy in the flickering of the phantom creatures. They are not menacing so much as mysterious, something Robin cannot entirely understand and instinctively fears. Yet, creatures who live so singularly, who skim across the ground as if a dragonfly over a lake, she can only hope would not harm those who run alongside them.
Robin can only hope, and hope she does. She hopes as she curves around the trees, or the trees curve around her. She hopes, and the forest begins to fall into the sky, molten leaves swirling past her. Robin hopes as the edges of her body melt into the warmth of the run, and she surrenders to the indefinable joy of losing herself to the woods, the run, and the creatures who lead her further and further from where she began.