dear woman 4,
words shape you into something, and i don't want to see your face, so i will keep this brief.
i remember when you first appeared, gliding across the white floor. it's a visceral memory, fight flight or freeze. i will never say your name aloud. i will never conjure you, though maybe i should. maybe i can. maybe i have.
i know what you sound like, and i know your dress. the buttons down your back, round and black. the lace along your edges. the bun atop your head. i know the shatter that reverberates before you. i know your name. you whispered it to me the first time. i will never speak it.
i don't know your face. you are a skulking entity without features, something rubbed out; smudged by the squishy palm of a third-grader, the meaty part of a hand writing the next line of a story. you're black and white and lead all over. garishly grey. illogical and inevitable. more than i want you to be. stay where you are. i hope you will stay where you are.
stay in the hospital room, and in the gorge.
stay on the train tracks.
somewhere in the sky during the blackout of 2003.
stay in the nightmare, at your canvas.
continue painting something mundane.
a jar of honey, a bowl of fruit.
keep your back to me.
stay at the top of the stairs; the edge of the cliff before you push.
stay in the before and after.
stay sharply featureless, peripherally centred.
but please don't leave.
dear woman 3,
last time we were together you called me an anchor, which i LOVE because it means in some universe i'm grounded instead of floating.
i think you are superwoman, but it just seems to be in your bones. in your seams. not that i think your life is effortless. i think it's full of effort, actually. but what you teach me is that effort is different than struggle, and you are a maker. a maker of your life, a maker of your days.
we talked about stress once, and you said you don't feel it. you said you don't feel stress, and i wonder how that's possible when your days are full and your nights are full, and when you're not doing something you're doing everything. "i don't know," you said. "why? what makes you feel stressed?"
it takes at least a decade to learn to truly only do what you want, you said. practice it now, every day.
i think you are the definition of practice because you make perfect, and i think you have gorgeous hands. you're a gorgeous person, but when i think of you, i see your hands - capable of sculpting a statue, or a healthy dinner or the day of a friend. you take up space by making room and add to the universe without overloading it. you say no and life says yes. to want means to do. to have means to deliver. to sing means to open your mouth. that's the next thing i see when i picture you - your smiling teeth. thanks is really what i want to say. thank you for existing in a way that all of us could, all of us should, if only we would stop letting everything happen to us and start remembering we have feet. (hands! teeth!)