There’s a hole in the wall in the stock room at work. High up, too far to reach, just below the suspended industrial lights. Every day I hang my coat, unwrap my scarf and look up. I take my insides, the blood and guts, the blue veins that snake up my inner arms, all the molecules that speckled imperceptibly make up the gist of me. I roll it into a ball. The way we used to roll clay between our palms until it was warm and as perfect a circle that we could ever make it. Flawed, but with pride. I imagine my legs, invisible now, extending, stretching up and up to that hole in the wall. Placing the ball carefully in that dark hole. Storing myself there. Safe.
It feels like shedding layers that grow back fast enough that I am never really naked. Never really rid of it, this body, myself. Like weeding or pruning; work that never ends, only tires.
Like walking over the bridge with your music too loud and pausing to run your fingers over the cold metal bars. The water dark and far below. The sky a blue you can almost taste. Imagining it must be light as a feather on your tongue. Imagining that if you jumped, spread against the hard blues of life and the lights of the city, your molecules would desert you—fleeing in a million directions. Just like that, your body would be gone, and the rest of you would rise up. Dust swirling over an air vent. Helium in a balloon.
Never high enough. Your mind stretched taut against the universe and your body fireworks. All of you fading, to sparks, faint, and then to nothing.
Dying would be fine, if it felt like that, like flying. If the world just dropped away, bonds broken, memories scattered to the wind, and you rose up.
Up, she goes.
Laura Veirs – July Flame