Precious

It’s the incredibly soft thing

It’s so small and warm in the heart

And it can be ripped away

 

I didn’t know it was made

Of glass.

I didn’t know it could be smashed

Or that it had infinite shards.

 

Life becomes a glittering maze

That slashes open our feet when we

Force ourselves to move forward

And I feel those slices of myself bleeding away

At the edge of my fear and my emptiness

That horrible sense of worthlessness.

 

Then I make it clear of the field

And now the splinters make their way

To the surface of my skin

The pieces of preciousness that stuck to

The bleeding flesh of my mind.

 

They’re so pretty when I pull them off

—Sparkling and pure in the sunlight—

And throw them behind me.

It’s strange to throw pieces of my heart

Behind me.

It always feels like forgetting how to breathe or

Forgetting the sound of one’s

Name.

 

I picked up the piece today

When you called me a blessing

That shard was deep and I watched my blood

In the water as it stained the rest of my existence

A redder shade of reality before

It all became a haze.

 

Precious…

 

Was I precious to you?

But this senseless place of shadows and grief

Of cold silence and a sluggish thudding of the blood through

Colder fingers,

This place I wandered to in an effort to keep moving,

I hope you’re not in some similar landscape.

 

I love you so

That I don’t want to think of you

Here.

 

Thinking of you happy comforts me

Thinking of you and

Believing I am worthless to you

Somehow washes away that slice of agony

Where I feel hopeless and lost again.

Because then I can think you don’t suffer

And it helps me remember to breathe

It helps me remember there are reasons

To go on breathing.

 

I carry so little with me

The thing that signifies “precious”

Of you is in my hands.  

It was my sense of being precious in your eyes

That I walked through the shattering of,

But the sense of gratefulness

The sense of integrity

The truth of you and the love I bear you

Is in the warmth of my hands.

 

How can it be more precious to me now?

 

I wish I could tell you that I saw your flaws

That I know what you’re like

That the things you say can’t be worse

Than walking in the glass and then seeing

What made the glass in the first place.

 

Why do we love people in fired sand?

Why do we give people something that feels

Like a blanket when it’s really 

The breaking point of our existence?

Then I remembered that “we” don’t,

But I…

 

I was taught how to give that way

And you did know what you accepted

From my trembling fingers so carefully

So gently, so gingerly

In moved and tranquil

Silence.

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~ by Rebecca Erickson on May 8, 2015.

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