Long Ago and Oh So Far Away by Meghan Lamb
I have a sudden feeling I could tell you anything. It is not the feeling I created. It is not the same as when we said goodbye the first time, when you held me and we both became aware we had a body. It is not the same as when I felt that you were warm, the same as when I smelled your breath, which wasn’t my imagination. It is not the same as my imagination, which is colors, shapes, and cold sounds, breath achieved in blueish vapors. It is not the same as waves of warmth, of waiting for the greater warmth, anticipating warmish things and smells of shades that change.
I have a sudden feeling I could tell you anything. It’s the feeling of having a body, not having a body, and wanting a body at once. It’s the feeling of feeling that you are aware of my body, not wanting my body, the feeling you care for my body and care to be close, but not too close, not too close to back away, slowly. Not too close to turn my back, arched in the shadows, the bones of my spine gleaming coldly.
Not too close to look at my knees when you reach out and brush me with fibers of possible contact. Not too close to feel those fibers as poison-like stings and feel sick to my stomach and clutch myself there. Not too close to cry in inaudible pain with a sound like a hiss, like the letting of air. Not too close to deflate. Not too close to be flat. Not too close to dry out. Not too close to be dust. Not too close to be swept up and swept off my feet, like a nothing that’s ever so carefully building up and not too close to be crept upon, wept for, and never explained.
I have a sudden feeling I could tell you how I’m no one. No one, nothing, trying to be even less. I have a sudden feeling you can see right through me, literally. I am see through, shining, shivering with light.
I’m very light. Now you can touch me, feel how light I am. I’m feather light, like dust that you can only see through sunbeams. I am feather light, like something shed, but trying still to fly. I’m feather light, like drifting softly toward the ground.
Look at my eyes and how they’re Nevermind, don’t look at me.
Look at my hair and how it’s Nevermind, don’t look at me.
Look at my face and how I’m Nevermind, don’t look at me.
Look at my skin and how it’s Nevermind, don’t look at me.
Look at my bones
look at my bones look at my bones
becoming flesh look at my flesh turned bone
my bone becoming flesh my insides turning to my outsides
growing hard and cold no longer soft and light look at my lightness
hard and softness cold and cold soft hardly even there until you see my bones
look at my bones look at my bony bony bones.
Look at my breaking bones. Look at me, breaking down. Look at me, long ago and oh so far away.
Long ago and oh so far away, you could have reached me. Long ago and oh so far away, I could be held. I wasn’t light enough to drift away into the star-lit night. I wasn’t yet a superstar. I wasn’t star shine fading. I was young then. I was almost kind of fat. I wasn’t pretty fat, but pointy fat, unglamorous. I stuck out everywhere. My sticking out stuck out. I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was sore and sick of it.
Now I am sick. I’m sickly. I’m like stomach butterflies. There’s nothing in my stomach, nothing there but butterflies. No butter there to feed the flies, no oil on my lettuce leaves, no soil to grow the leaves in so they wither.
No soil to grow the forest and no trees to hide behind, no fields to lie in, nowhere left to walk or rest and just relax. No rest for me, the ever-drifting light of feather light, the wind within the curtain, and the rain upon the pane.
Talking to myself and feeling old.
Sometimes I’d like to quit.
Nothing ever seems to fit.
Hanging around. Nothing to do but frown.
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.
Meghan Lamb is a feather.