The One In Which A Letter Goes Unanswered

The hardest part is the silence. Throwing a stone down a well just to hear it echo until a soft thump and no echo comes. The silence that brings me to my words again and again. Searching the lines for clues or landmines. I wrote it when I was drunk but that doesn’t make it untrue, if anything it makes it more apt—my defenses lowered. I ended it, this letter in a bottle, with the sentence, “Just think about it.”

It’s been days. A lifetime played out in minute after agonizing minute as I pluck out a memory, turn it slowly and then crush it in my fist. The perfume of loss thick and acrid in my lungs. I so badly want to add another line: “I meant it. Every word.” But the cause is lost and my heart too proud to beat this pathetic rhythm any harder, any longer. I keep it like a breath of air trapped underwater. Floating impatiently just below the surface.

Struggling to fail gracefully. As gravity struggles to hold onto the man about to leap into empty air. Hanging weightless for the briefest of moments before the pavement reaches up with gray fingers to catch him in that last brutal embrace.

Cupping a bubble in your hands—too tight—when with a faint pop it disappears.

Struggling to fail gracefully but desperate not to fail at all.

Ingrid Michaelson – The Chain


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