May 28, 2008

The Sunshine Princess

I walked down the street today, blinded by the dazzling sun. I felt clenched up and pinched, and yet aimless and directionless. I saw an adolescent boy walking down the sidewalk who looked so sure of himself—-so idiotically confident of his place in this world. I saw a man on the bus who looked like he could stare piercingly into my innermost thoughts. So I brushed the crumbs off the seat, took my place by the window, and waited to be seen into.

For most of my childhood I was certain that others could see my thoughts like speech balloons bulging above me. I felt guilty about the thoughts that went through my head, and I spent a great deal of time trying to hide them from others.

As an adolescent I found someone who could understand my thoughts when I explained them to him, and that was a first for me—-a glorious thing. It ended when we could no longer understand each others’ thoughts even upon explanation.

When I was an adult I found someone who not only understood my thoughts when I explained them, but anticipated them-—didn’t need to have them explained. How unspeakably wonderful to be understood without saying a word. I think, perhaps, there was too much understanding.

I spend a lot of time nowadays wondering if there is a happy in-between. Wondering if you can ever really know another person, and wondering what the limits are to how much you should know about someone. Maybe there are things that should be censored because there’s only so much honesty and openness that someone can take. Maybe I have always gone beyond this and that's where my downfall has been.

medicated dull, your attention
dry winter miles, diamonds and glass
mink eyed, marble eyed
in the gauze, in the weeds
by the drain, red on pale
there’s a nail by the vent
sweet for your heel, in the gauze marble eyed, waiting there
kiss your mouth to shut you up
crossed and lowered
cheaters fine, wings on fire
the stars are out
whisper stung in the wires
all you steal, you never take care

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