magical.

I’ve always like magicians.

I know it’s tricks,

sleight-of-hand, clever props, mirrors,

fast talk, misdirection.

but still,

I love it

(in a slightly aloof manner,

if I must be honest,

because something tells me

that I need to be too cool

to like magic shows.)

I like to believe

that onstage,

the impossible can be possible.

that dreams can be real.

I am perfectly willing

to suspend my disbelief

(even though

I should know better)

and let you fool me.

I want

at the same time

to both know

how it’s done

and to not know.

and maybe it’s

not real

because it’s just tricks

and it’s up there under the stage lights

but does that make it

any less real?

 

——

reviving my 31days tradition of one-word-prompted five-minute poetry. thanks Shelby for my word.

bigger things.

I want to take wire cutters to the fences.

I want set them on fire, to light them up, up, up, so you can’t put it out. I want to see flames licking at the edges of the dry boards that have been keeping me in here and the world out there. I want to watch them burn.

I want to yell and scream and shout.  No more. No more lies, no more second-guessing, no more doubts. No more not good enough, not skinny enough, not brave enough, not strong enough.

No more.

No more fences.

But really?

I’m more likely to light the match and then watch it burn out in my cupped hand. I’ll lean against the fence, climb up the rails to watch the sun set on the other side. I’ll skirt the borders, but I won’t even get close enough to let the barbs tear my skin.

Because the fences? They make me feel safe.

It’s safe in here. I know where I stand, at least. I know my place. I know how far my arms can reach.

But.

People have been whispering words about dreams. and keys. and burning.

and I want to grasp more than my arms can reach.

and I want the fences gone, gone, gone.

and I want out.

I want out.

and not having fences? oh, it scares me.

I’ll you I dream of wide open spaces but really, I dream of cozy places and a chair that knows my curves. The night sky makes me feel insignificant, and fields as far as the eye can see just make me feel lost. and I wonder if I’ll ever find my way out.

but I think – I think – I’d rather be wondering if I’ll find my way out than wondering what’s on the other side of the wire. I think I’d rather be feeling small than feeling trapped. I’d rather try.

I want bigger things.

and I don’t really know where to get there. I don’t know quite how to set the fences on fire, how to find myself in the wide open, how to handle it when all I want to do is rebuild the fences and lock the doors and hide.

but I know I want bigger things.

and I think the wanting? the wanting is a good place to start.

 

———

inspired by a story sessions prompt. these ladies, they whisper about wings and roar love.

the light gets in.

somebody left the gate open.

can’t you see? they’ve all been saying.

it’s. right. there.

that open gate.

but this girl, she don’t see.

she can’t see.

she hears them shouting at her,

something about an open gate,

and wings and keys and flying

but she’s still trying to stand on her own two feet

so why all these words about wings

and open gates

when all she can see is the walls.

she gave up on looking for the cracks long ago

but somehow

the light still gets in

there must be a way

walk about your Zion.

walk about Zion, go all around it,

count its towers, consider well its ramparts.

this is my Zion,

my holy ground of  heart and hands.

here are my strong towers,

my weak arms that I have been holding up to you

for what seems like forever

waiting

for you to reach down

and hold my hand

fill these empty palms

this is my Zion.

consider well the ramparts

walk the walls

know them.

know the broken places in you,

the rubble falling apart,

the pebbles under your feet

that once belonged to towers tall.

count them.

see them.

look at the broken places.

now turn, daughter.

look at the healed places.

look at the healing places.

know them well.

consider them.

this, this body and soul,

they are holy ground.

he has said yes to you.

yes.

you shall be my dwelling place,

and i will be yours.

holy ground.

broken and healing.

walk about your Zion, sister.

go through its citadels, that you may tell the next generation,

that this is God.

 

—–

from Psalm 48

the girl I once was.

the girls we once were are coming back to us now. 

when you tell me that the girls we once were are coming back to us, my instinct is not excitement.  I do not want to open my arms to her. I do not see the version of me that is innocent and starry-eyed.

I see the girl I used to be. the me that I am slowly, steadily stepping away from.

the girl full of fear and anxiety.
the girl that views her beauty as the inverse measure of her thighs.
the girl that yells at God in anger and then feels guilty, because she doesn’t yet know that she’s allowed to wrestle.
the girl that feels numb.
the girl that swallows her doubts and lets them poison her insides.

she is not a girl that I want to come back to me. I’ve been trying to forget her.

aren’t you supposed to remember the beauty and not the pain? aren’t there rosy glasses of nostalgia? but I see brokenness. I see a scotch-taped heart falling apart.

I’ve been working on that. I’ve been trying to fix that. I’ve been working real real hard to love my thighs and not be scared of the darkness and I’ve been wrestling with God plenty and growing through the questioning space and learning that there’s no way to feel numb when I am aware of the fact that the skies are so blue.

so why would I want to let this broken child come back to me?

but behind her…oh, there is the girl that she once was.

she’s been hiding, forgotten, locked away with her older self in a corner of my memory.

the girl with starry eyes. the girl with innocence in her footsteps. the girl who believes that she is beautiful, can be beautiful, can be part of something beautiful. the girl who laughs without fear.

is she still there?

I forgot about her. I forgot that I used to chase fireflies and dream about tutus. I forgot that my imagination ran wild and I played in paint like I believed I was an artist. I forgot the stories I would spin in my mind.

and she is coming back, too.

I see her, hiding in the shadow of her hurting sister. she’s a little shy. I can understand why.

I’m letting them back in, both of them. I’m not hiding away from the hurt. It’s there. It happened. I’ve been hurt. we all have.

and these girls, they are me.

I’m letting this little dreamer come alongside, slip her fingers through mine. I’ll shorten my strides to match hers, and we’ll walk slowly into this dreaming-thing. We’ll rediscover this starry-eyes and catching-fireflies thing.

I am wrapping my arms around this me that I keep pushing away, this broken and hurting she-me. Not to try and hold her together – no, I’m done with trying to keep all the shards inside the span of my arms – but to let her know that there is healing, and hope.

I’m holding out my hands, I am standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the girl I was once was – the girls I once was. All of them. All of the beauty and the brokenness, all of the bathroom-floor-tears and all the days of bubbly joy. They are all a part of me. We’ve walked through these years together, but somewhere along the way I left them behind. They got lost in a haze of New Year’s Resolutions and self-improvement-plans and blank pages.

but these girls, they were never truly lost. they’ve been here all along.

the girl I once was, she’s coming back to me.  and we are standing together. because it’s only together that we can become the girl I am going to be.

———-

we’re welcoming back the girls we once were. join us. say hello to yourself. she’s got some wisdom for you.