Often the inconceivable comes true. An unlikely scenario plays out, an uncontrollable fate unfolds, a puzzled victim recovers, analyzing and repeating the incident, living in the past suspended in the present, a thick fluid congealing around every attempt to struggle, to break free, to resume one’s life. The limbs on rusty little hinges, every movement reminding you of limitation, every bone in its socket creaking and lumbering into place finding its nook among settled and worn pockets. Spiky bones of rotting fish, brittle nails grown long but weak, twisted bed sheets and hard dry crumbs on countertops, this is the caulk between shower doors, precariously sheltering wet from damp. Proceeding grave is gallows. Then tomb, catacomb, sea or ash: a lengthy withdrawal into eminent domain.
The scissors scratch through the itchy twine, unraveling edges. The dog’s saliva softening bone; carving toothy grooves. Calling back into focus the wrongs you have committed, the people you inadvertently hurt by not loving, the ones you left without remorse; the distance you maintain. In silence you suffer the wish you left hidden, in the world you witness the life you weren’t given. You attempted to love but were held by the truth of all you had witnessed. The memory of scrap yards with hollow shells of automobiles, surrounded by tall weeds and stunted grass. Sun-bleached logos on crushed aluminum cans; abandoned filters of cigarettes.
Your past is a disposable diaper still waiting to decompose. Nothing organic remains. Illuminated with the buzz and hum of a fluorescent bulb, smolder creeping in from the ends, blackening its resolve. Walking, shuffling feet, casting shadows underneath doorways, the weight of fear pulling like gravity, your spine to the bed. Paralyzed, you wait for the many tiny sutures to dissolve. The scar can be traced with a finger too calloused for nuance, toughened by persistent injury. Prickled by the needlepoint, burned by the impatience. Knuckles bleed from daily fumbling with indifference, your voice a hoarse whisper reminding you not to fail. Spine compressed, your neck misaligned, pride takes its toll pushing the cartilage, tugging the monofilament.
Barefoot on rotting tree stumps, cobwebs clinging to splinters, bugs parading in disintegrating bowels; shadow at my back, sun blinding me. The future is hard to walk towards with hope, the present being defined by successive moments of hesitation. Sometimes I venture to walk sideways, scuttling like a crab, hitting my hipbones on jutting corners and corridors too narrow to navigate. I feel like the woman who kept adding rooms to her house for fear if she stopped building she would die. The inevitable comes no matter what we do to ward off its threat. No tincture or spell to undo the undoing.