Just.Burn

I wrote this a while ago but realized I hadn’t posted it. This was written about someone I felt sorry for…

 

I saw it all while she spoke. It flickered past in that space between thought and vision, the silver screen of the mind. I saw her parents never quite register her presence. She burned brighter, hoping to turn them like moths towards her. All that sound converted to a humming light. She jumped and danced and twirled: nothing nothing nothing and then. Changed. Subtly that first time, a lengthening, a darkening. Perhaps this creature they will notice. No? Perhaps this? Perhaps this? Each change more and more rapid the phenotypes blurring in their succession such that, like a film strip, only change was visible, motive, highlighted.

The creature became one of change, its only existence in its own transience. The film strip came loose, flailed against the light. I saw that boy gripped her arm made her feel safe things begin to slow like a carousel ending she could have stepped off could have but did not step off and now too tight not safe that boundary between safe and imprisoned crossed. Saw how he held her back saw that he did not stop when she said no and she clung to something safe to be in love with that could never hit back or leave. I saw her love the music and clutch it to herself as she turned and turned again in the maze. No! That way goes back where you came! She stamped and shrieked into the crosshatched shadows. I saw her get up a thousand times, saw her never leave the bed. She did not know why, just that she had to go on. Each day on and on and never why just grinding down the enamel of days. But not knowing why is somehow not going on. Some small part of her knew that she was beautiful and was sad at the stretches of blood like drying raindrops. I saw every moment fractured, turned inside-out, reflected and half-reflected, splintered and reformed.

She had forgotten my name. From something so small it came like a lash. I realized that she hadn’t meant it, she hadn’t seen the shadowplay, the marionette all tangled in its own string. But that was just it. It was unthinking. This glass creature so focused on not breaking, every moment created and destroyed, eventually is bound to leave fragments in its wake. Stark sparkles they attract us like sharks to blood. So much blood. None of us ever mean it. We never think at all, any more. And that is how.

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