Monday, December 19, 2011

My Hand Closes Over Nothing

They say I've lost it, and I tell them, I know, I have. But we're talking about different things. I shuffle along the street, head bowed, as if in deep conversation, and people pass me on either side, stepping away because they think I lips move, I'm forming words and I know you're walking beside me.

Sometimes the pain is quiet, and I just talk to you, tell you about my day and how it felt when they put the pickles in my sandwich, and what the floor feels like under my bare feet and why the dog looks at me and turns away.

I walk at night because there are less eyes. And I can talk to you without them staring, except that sometimes I forget, I'm too loud and they peep over their gates to listen.

I can't help it. I miss you. There is still so much I have to say to you.

Sometimes I feel you brush past and I reach out. But my hand closes over nothing.

It's these times that are the hardest. Just when I got used to not having you here, your shadow fell across my face and I reached out.

It's then, my darling, that my body screams. It pushes this broken voice through my throat, an animal pain, and it screams and screams until my throat is left in bloody tatters.

They come for me then. Closing in from all sides. I don't bother to run. I don't feel them shove me, hold me down, hold me to the ground.

The mad woman, they say. Can't we do something about her, they say.

And my body keeps screaming.

So I run away. I run. I keep on running. I reach out for you to hold my hand to pull me forward.

I reach out my hand but it closes over nothing.

You're still not there.

The other day, I saw something that reminded me of you. It was a puddle of water, floating over mud and I saw the moon's bright face reflected in it.

I couldn't help it. I knelt down and drank. I drank. I drank. Mud. Salt. Blood. I drank.

And they surrounded me again.

And a little child said, poor thing Mummy, the mad woman must be thirsty. Can we give her some water?

But then I didn't hear anything more, because my body started to scream.

Nobody can make out what I scream.

But it's your name, it's always your name.

It tears through my me like a siren and it keeps tearing through me until there's nothing left.

Death should not happen so slowly.

I keep waiting for you to take my hand. But you're still not there.

And so I keep walking, hoping that someday, I will reach out, my hand will close over something, and then I won't be there anymore.