I Am My Own Savior
Somedays I take my pills gladly, with hope
and juice to wash it down, and other days
I glare at them until they get caught in my throat
and I hate myself for feeling like they’ve failed me
already. Somedays it’s 85 degrees in Phoenix
but I’m caught under feet of suffocating snow
with no one to pour salt on my flailing body,
like drowning all over again, but so weighted and cold
I’m dragged to the earth’s core. Somedays I’m sun
and sparkle, I’m radiant mermaid tails, shining iridescent
under daylight, I’m Look at me I’m doing so well
I’m surviving I’m really doing it, and other days I’m bitter cold
with hands that can’t stop trembling, hiding under stones
from the blinding white. I’m angry and gray, a howling cyclone
tearing my own cities to shreds and lighting all my house fires,
I’m I’m so tired I’m so tired Please god let it all come crashing
around me so I can stop. But when the world’s rotation
slows down enough to let me lie back, I think of the sullen girl
at 16, looking for stones heavy enough to weigh down
her wasted body in the canal, and years later, a part of me
has to remind myself, That was you once. My bones are weary
and I’m still half-doomed, but my fists have not stopped fighting
since the day they pulled me out of the water, my heart grudgingly
coming back to life, beating once, and again, and again,
saying with each thump, I won’t stop. I won’t stop. I won’t stop.
I lay awake talking to her for hours.
She sat next to me like a visitor at my sick bed,
her gown radiating the light of 60 moons,
her rings like a thousand halos around her head.
I think I’m lost, I told her in the quiet, and she
looked at me in sweetest confusion and said,
What do you mean? Aren’t you in your home
right now? She gestured to the plain white walls
that encased me. I don’t know anymore, I said.
It’s a different kind of lost, I think. I’ve been following
the same routine for so long but somehow,
everything’s changed and nothing feels right.
Her face was blank, so I said, You’ve been orbiting the sun
for 5 billion years. Don’t you get tired of it?
Don’t you ever feel like you should be someplace else?
No, she said thoughtfully, I’ve never thought of that.
She placed a hand on my forehead like she was
checking for fever and nodded sagely. I can feel the storms
in you. Huge and terrible ones. I see so much inside you.
People weaving around you, leaving dark splotches
on your skin. Feelings of hopelessness, of wanting death.
I see bright pain, here, she pointed to my chest.
It’s blinding, like a star, and swelling larger and larger.
Tears streamed almost involuntarily down my face. I told her,
I’m so tired, Saturn, I’m just so tired. When will the pain stop?
How long do stars take to implode? She reached for
my hand and started to inspect each finger, one by one.
You’re so small. So special. I can’t tell you enough.
Humans die easily, quickly even, but they don’t
just implode. She looked up, her eyes meeting mine.
I’m not so great, you know. I’m made of gases
with a little molten core. But you? Look at you.
She held up my hand for me to see. Look at this. This skin.
These tiny fingers, stitched together so perfectly. Even
your eyes are like nebulas. I’ve lived with diamond rain
for eons but I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. She smiled,
wiping away a tear, and kissed my forehead. I don’t know very much.
I wish I could tell you the things you need to hear.
I know it hurts, but when it does, just look at your hands,
your eyes, your skin. And then look up at me.
I’ll always be there. I’m not so far away.