Drowning floating resting / by Ailsa Fineron

Words and phrases that have been running from my mind through my fingers. CW depression.

Feeling hurt. Wanting to scream but the fear of being heard dives down my throat. Plugging it with petrol soaked rags. Gagging on words crawling up and down my oesophagus. Fingers form a punching fist clenching around my lungs, squeeze the tongues I have grown and its hold tastes of burnt coffee. The promise of something delicious coating your teeth with bitterness so when you smile you smile through disappointment. Everyone can see. But only if they look. I understand. 

I am the sunshine girl. An easy stream to cool your feet in. Something pleasant to dip into. You do not want to see the depths where I have drowned many times. Nor do I. Still, I go diving there. Looking for pearls. For gems grown from choking on dust. For the light I turned to gold before it slipped from my fingers into this desperate maze of caves. Stone walls with bent mirrors at every turn. Once you’ve been pulled down here you cannot come up for air. So let go. Let the weight of your heart turned to iron pull you down down down. Don’t fight it. Drowning is only quicker if you attempt to inhale. Let the weight of your heart turned to an anchor drop through you, tearing at your lungs as its iron arms strive to prevent its descent.

Release your hands from each other. Broken fingers only leave you unable to write and then what would you do? Speaking is not an option for now. Use your words. Use this craft you have practiced in the hours when even the cars are sleeping. Picking adjectives from that hand carved hand smoothed treasure box under your bed and trying out each one until you hear the click of the right fit. Remember the satisfaction of capturing an elusive flying cloud mood and preserving its complexities on paper. Use your words.

Reach out and others reach back. Their messages make you laugh, cry, turn you to a marble statue, polished and shining. Warm hands on your shoulders, in your hair, framing your face because they know why you are beautiful. How you are beautiful. To them. And since you cannot see it for yourself you let them show you. This time is different. Reach out and others reach back. You are learning and I am proud.

People are kind. Others are kinder. Others are further away with every day that passes in this haze.

I’m disappointed in you. Me too. Should have seen this coming. Saw it happening and kept on going. Walking up stairs leaning back the way I came to accomodate you. Sitting on my shoulders, legs wrapped around my neck. Pretty metal chain I picked up willingly but a choker all the same. And if I fell I do not think I would blame you. You are oblivious and I cannot find it within myself to not excuse your ignorance. Maybe this will change. But I like being soft for now. Being soft makes you less brittle, less likely to break. And I do not need you. I never did. I need people but no one individual. And I love you still but it is no longer a tidal wave but a glimmer of reflected light on the water as the sun sets. I glimpse it from time to time. I do not chase it. I will let you blink and fade. Blink and fade and be carried out on the tide. 

Now is the time for resting. For walking home. Unlacing my boots with blood filled fingers, sitting on the side of the bath and  running my swollen feet under cold water until I can dance again. Sitting in the cool of the living room letting the bright lights fade to black on the back of my eyelids. Now is the time for gentleness. Yes, there is fear of loss. Terror of another time spent in something deeper than sadness. But the best you can do is be gentle. Feed yourself. Lie in warm water hearing the rain fall on glass. Inhale and help yourself to float. You are in a still lake in the cotton soft night, glowing blue sky, the breeze and ripples on your skin the breath of a world reminding you of your worth. Float half submerged: body in the transparent ink of expression you will only ever feel, lips just kissed by air, your arms have nothing to hold in this moment. Float for now in the comfort of knowing the depths below you. Rest for now in the fear of knowing that you can swim and drown and resurface gasping and jubilant.  Float for now between lives. Another will begin when it wishes. Rest for now.

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