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A New Frontier

frontier

Our rhythms were harmonized. Now they must be untangled.

Waking up, going to sleep, a chorus of phone calls. It’s a mess, can’t untangle string by string. Must make cuts.

Everything is in pieces.

What did I just say? I don’t say that. Phrases. Mannerisms. Things I heard often and made my own. Inflections that are a beat different, a stress different.

Stresses haunt me.

What did I just hear? Nothing. There used to be someone there, in the space. An electric toothbrush, toilet flushing. Warmth. Dishes—who is moving the dishes? Why is the dog barking? No one.

The silence threatens me.

What did I just touch? My fingers ache to grab and push down until familiar muscles push back. To trace scars and wrinkles and freckles. Freckles formed constellations. A morning star. Now there is nothing to trace.

My fingers are heavy and twitching.

But what was that smell? I stop. Walk back a few feet, back around the corner. Here? No, right . . . here. There it is. Your scent. I pull all of your air into my lungs.

I carry you inside me, now. In my hollow. I will slowly breathe you back out.

I was extended, expanded so long I didn’t notice my elasticity. The edge of my universe pushed out a bit further. Now I’ve been deflated and folded. Collapsed.

I am so small.

I want to dig in my nails, to grab the fabric of time. I want to pull it to me now, carry it, and throw it over the present. Smooth it out until I can walk on it. Walk back. Run back.

I can’t lift the past.

I’m not alone. Every song, I swear, every single song was written for me. The words I want to say and can’t. But only one song will do. Same song, hundreds of times.

Thank god for artists and thinkers.

But where are the answers? Where is the knowledge? Where is the light? Won’t someone tell me? Won’t someone carry this for me? Carry me?

I cannot carry myself through this frontier.

I would have done anything. I would have done—could have done—anything. I was so close to my best self. Then something flinched.

Life does that, flinches.

Something flinched. And now, I need to pass through a frontier that I cannot reach, can barely see.

All I want to do is float forward. Towards that something.

But I’m dragged down, by this thing inside me. The hope of all I was going to be, all I imagined myself to be. I couldn’t get to Her. I couldn’t get through me.

I have to let go to get through.

Breath. Grip. Flutter and fold. Scrape through hair and skin and rip it back, feeling heat and rage. Reach in and grip the pain, hold it tight. Grab it, hold it for a second. Then pull it out. Heavy and wet, its tethers rip and give. The pain beats and flows. Pull it out, set it next to me. There it is, finally. I can look at it. It’s a horrible thing. It expands. While I float away.

Float. Forward. I can see the frontier. A minute goes by.

A minute. Just a minute.

Each minute a step. Forward. Into the space unfolding, light and clouds. A space where She exists. Where She can be loved.

A minute towards it. A step. Hope.

Tomorrow, I’ll try for two.

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