It stays with me I guess. Somehow it's still there [a loyal dog. a boomerang. a drunken tattoo. Manifested in different ways]. Most of the time it would be easier to just pack it up and tape it off and stick it in a far away shelf in a big house to be forgotten about. Cleaner. Simpler. Easier to swallow. [when have I been one for clean-cut lines?]. Sometimes I forget that it's there- sometimes it's just a gentle hum or patient like a corner of a room or I'm too busy and too tired to figure out what anyone is saying around me, how I feel about what is going on around me. And in me. Sometimes it is a wall that I didn't know was behind me when I turn around. It is a marching band SIREN. At 3am through my bedroom. With horns and screeching and rushing cars [there is nothing melodic about it] and that panic and that heart in my throat. It is a knife through the back, it hurts but it reminds me [in a not-so-delicate way] that I am the living, feeling, breathing kind. Sometimes it is someone kissing away silent tears on my cheek, it is the sigh, it is the gentle drifting into sleep, it is the sun coming out when I was certain it was going to rain. It's a lie, it's a fleeting thought; it is concrete and fact and finished. I pray for it; I curse it. I believe in it; I wish it would go away. I see it, I feel it, I know it and then... I don't know anything at all. I want it so badly; I wish I could be finished with it for good. It's like holding a vase above my head, so certain that I will smash it to the ground once and for all, I lift up that glass a million times in a day, only to somehow end up on my knees, clinging its curves, whispering my apologies and re-committing my oath and loyalty as carrier and protector.
And so I walk around with it- it is as heavy as an anchor of the world's tallest ship, it is the lightest of leaves on the smallest of trees. It is a baby's eyelash, it is the wound in the belly of a whale. And it sings with me and it interrupts the way I speak. It moves when I move and it moves when I stand still. I go to the ends of the Earth to get away and it beats me there. I beg it to speak and it stays silent, I look away and it stares me in the face.
And someday I will tell you the story of the voyager who's going to build a house without walls and no doors to keep people out, and the girl with a book and a song and a map with no lines, standing on the unbroken ground, feet and heart bare. Their faces are weathered and joyful and are tilted towards one another. And that is when we will ask her where she will put the vase, scratched and chipped and glued together and crumbling but still together. It is still there.