I came to you small and innocent. Porcelain and plump, pickled in peculiarity.
You came to me a lost girl, never fully grasping the deal we struck lifetimes ago when we floated among the explosions of stars. Uncontrollably hurtling toward you, the black night against white light baffled and blinded me through oblivion.
You were the first creature I studied. I watched you in the moments you thought no one was looking. My curious eyes burned. My bitten tongue stung. My heart and brain teetered between imitation and authenticity. I searched for answers in your body language and vacant eyes. I strained to hear you in the simmering silence, longing for the sound of a turning key. My heart’s cries and longing only echoed by sirens on city streets.
I tried to see you in the darkest of rooms. I snuck up to smell your hair, willing the scent to be scorched across my brain, wondering if it would be the last time I inhaled you. I begged to be with you. I craved to comb your hair, to feel your skin not flinch when I reached for you, to be hugged tightly and never let go.
My own senses betrayed me, over and over again.
I had left the endlessness of time behind me, only to crash into your warm, dark waters. More ebb than flow, within your mixed tides, our rise and fall, pushed and pulled by forces beyond our control. An endless, dark ocean with the power to torture me into detachment, then curl its waves like a motioning finger, always tempting me to return. Betrayal was silenced. The distant memories of your heartbeat allowed to intuitively soften mine. Small hands clawed toward the stillness of sand, only to inevitably surrender to the hypnotic pulse beneath dark waters.
Every mammalian instinct beat its drum against my thick skull, turning my heart colder, left to question the thickening of my skin once more. Braced for impact, I held my breath and steadied myself for the cold crash back into your dark blue sea. Wading through familiar waters that would someday drown me.
I reached for your hands and begged to place my lonely heart in your palm, if only so that you could recognize for once that it was still beating. I waited for your animalistic instincts to jolt, to remember that there was still life inside of me. There was still time. You would remember that it was the gift you gave to me. The gift I didn’t ask for. The gift I never figured out how to make useful. The gift that required a lesson, an explanation, instructions–instead I was left with parts I had to construct alone. Your porcelain souvenir waited for help to piece together my box of broken parts, hoping you had the answers to make me whole. My paperweight heart unable to ever hold your instructions in place. Instead, safety tests were done by experiment, through personal trial and error. Over time, I learned how to piece that gift together on my own.
I’d look to you to see if it resembled anything human. I begged foolishly to be seen by the emotionally blind.
You couldn’t answer, though, could you? You never had instructions of your own either.
It was too much work to put a little girl together in the right order, broken parts aplenty.
After all, Mom…
You were still in pieces, too.