A hot whip lashes my chest like a demon’s attempt to break my ethereal heart.
The gates are closed, but the mark is left on the pearl and I can’t get it off.
Perfection is a lie we tell ourselves in order to aspire, because that’s what we’re taught: always reach, always strive.
But life is a fucking mess.
Stitches for a porcelain chin. Glue for Grandmother’s China, the shattered pieces of her favorite teacup.
A plush blanket in the dryer for too long gets a subtle roughness against your sensing sheath.
My tears in the face of love, poison rises to the surface and you might need gloves to touch me.
Time runs faster when you try to catch it, a falling star before the wish was made.
I am an hourglass full of stardust and dreams.
The pearlescent sand of ground up boundaries past fall through me like tiny chafing diamonds drawing blood.
Like chigger-gems, their microscopic teeth, the burrowing of memories under my pelt.
Flesh of flickering fear and swelling grief, my wide eyes full of clouds hold back the rain.
A storm is forming inside me, gathering currents of cold in my veins to mix with pockets of heat in my heart, my gut.
My breath becomes a fog to soften the fire in the sky, protect my skin, my eyes.
My cocoon is a fortress of sleeping innocence, made of tempered glass from melted crystals:
Emerald and Obsidian, a regenerating shield for my dissolution.
What will I become from this chrysalis? How will my cells recapitulate?
Will I stay a crawling creature facing the ground, never looking up unless I’m on my back with flailing legs,
banking on the safety of retreat when I curl into a ball to guard my soft, elaborate underside?
The delicate parts of me sealed off to all but the dirt and the Goddess and the healing of my own heart?
Or will I grow wings again, pump new blood of courage into my veins, and breakthrough the hiding rind?
Copyright © 2021, Sheyorah Naify