moth prints.

by saracrolick

mirror mirror

There’s a different kind of mortality in a doctor’s office.

We see our faces more clearly—the fine lines, the tired eyes, the not-supposed-to-be-there pounds. We fear the march of days in a suddenly-palpable way. Our wings don’t quite have the span we had imagined.

Delicate.

Fragile.

Impermanent.

Were these thoughts always so heavy?

And in a doctor’s office every-little-things mean everything; another symptom, another “mmhmmm,” another visit closer to the whole shit storm winning out.

“Based on the data we’ve collected these past few months, I’m concluding that this is lupus.”

Strong or weak, ready or not, a click is a click is a click.

And girl, you’re sick as a sick as a sick.

p o k e s | p r o d s | b l o o d | v i s i t s | o b s e r v a t i o n s | a d v i c e

All the nuances of ill.

It carries you away—a sweet sacrificial lamb for the diagnostic gods.

But you’ll survive it.

And after seven years you’ll be too tired to be angry; much preferring to wonder at the many shades of grief.

Some grief will look like rain. You’ll weep when he’s close and you’ll sob when he goes because he’s the last one on this earth who insists you’re going to be fine.

Somehow, after all this, you’ll be safe.

Some grief will look like dance. You’ll spin wildly in on yourself—imploding like a dying star—until your spirit weighs more than lead. You’ll take one look around this technicolored world and you’ll say a little something for the woman you used to be. Ready, you’ll exclaim, ready to fill this universe with pirouetting smithereens.  

For some reason, after all this, you’ll be quieted.

Some grief will look like fire. There will be times that you explode with such rage that the fury will tingle across your skin; you’ll forget for a moment why you’re angry because the sensation is so close to pleasant. A warmth that envelops you and singes away the metallic taste of sick.

Then, after all this, you’ll be fueled.

Some grief will look like art. There will be other times, when you’re still and fetal on the bedroom floor; in this particular moment, you’ll look up to the ceiling and you’ll see it: a moth, so delicate, so confused, pressing herself again and again against the non-sun centered in that vast, white square.

And you’ll lose yourself for a little while; the brushing of her wings carrying a just-detectable rhythm, a pulse to set adrift upon.

But with this music comes a dusting of her every essence—wherever and whenever she makes contact—one impossible without the other. And you’ll feel sadder than you’ve ever felt in your entire life. The sadness that had been so-selfishly reserved for memories of you will spill out on her behalf and you’ll feel surprise in your heart when the wet starts to gather in the corners of your eyes.

Eventually, your life will call you away from that delicate girl and you’ll click the light off. You will hope for her safe passage, but will dread her departure, too.

You’ll return to the everything you had paused for that girl and open your own wings in her honor—ambivalent to the dust you will surely leave behind.

Across every surface you graze.

Against each moment you touch.

Somehow, after all this, you’ll be free.

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