Back then I was committed to the color blue, felt moved to paint my walls, nails, furniture the same shade of teal. Now my body swells at the window with casual longing.
After Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
Somewhere, there is a version of me
that isn’t up to her neck in lies.
Shame and guilt are different creatures
though they share the same bed. I admit
it’s twisted—while you had nightmares,
I slept soundly, dreamt of pumpkin
sized blueberries. Earlier, lying
naked, next to not-you, arms
stretched wide like a Hindu effigy,
I thought about my better selves. One
painting her kitchen lemon yellow.
One returning her father’s call. As for me,
I don’t want to learn anything
from the failure of this love. Somewhere,
there is a version of me who deserves
your kindness. She does the right thing,
though no one is looking. She has never
plucked handfuls of eyelashes to grant
herself more wishes, doesn’t yearn
for a mirror in the waiting room to see
what dread does to her face. She weaves
no webs. She wears no mask. I envy
her universe, her untangled,
Back then I was committed to the color blue, felt moved
to paint my walls, nails, furniture the same shade of teal.
Now my body swells at the window with casual longing.
Do you believe in saltwater gargling. As a cure. At the gas
station I felt proud to specify it was the navy lighter we
wanted. Often the bravest thing I do all day is open my
mouth. On every beach washes up the memory of some
other beach when I didn’t evaluate my own body. Last
night Orion’s Belt filled me with dread because everyone
I have shown it to has exited my life with no warning. Still,
I couldn’t help myself. The light was brief and obvious.