sound.

Oh, the RAGE I feel over this. The foggy post-traumatic haze that I've been swimming through for the past few days, buried so deep in my being that I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHY I COULDN'T STOP CRYING. The brave beautiful women who CONTINUE to step forward. The stories that make my hands shake, that make my mind race and my heart pound out of my chest and tell me I'm not safe,

not safe,

not safe,

and all I can do is squeeze my eyes shut and wait for the storm to pass.

not safe,

not safe,

not safe,

ringing in my ears even as I lie, safe and loved as I could possibly be next to my husband in bed at night. Because nighttime has been the hardest for me for the twelve years that this elephant has sat on my chest. Because nighttime is when I'm vulnerable and quiet and defenseless against the technicolor wave of memory that washes over me and leaves me shaking or

sobbing or

sweating or

squeezing the pillow so tight my fingers start to cramp or

screaming because my heart is splintered into the millions of tiny pieces that my sisters help me carry as they share their stories,

their scars,

their strength:

my sisters the statistics,

my sisters the silenced,

my sisters the survivors.

We'll let the light in through the cracks. We'll lean on each other. We'll quietly continue turning lead into gold. We'll be soft and gentle and patient with our bodies as they rile against this news, these men, the monster-in-chief. We'll persist,

nevertheless.

#yesallwomen

digestion.

I have this rage that sits in my belly like a popcorn kernel,

small,

round,

vibrating with potential.

Every time I turn on the news, I gasp for breath and open my mouth,

accidentally feeding it,

hot oil swirling down my throat,

growing the seed and

growing the seed

until it pops,

and exists in its new form, three times its original size. 

It aches, it itches, it 

multiplies, until I have a collection of them, a 

veritable cineplex's worth of foreign objects

taking up space in my system, 

my stomach,

my body,

which is hardly even mine these days.

These days, when I'm fragmented and

micromanaged by a broken system and

so

fucking

furious,

anger seeping through my veins like

poison.

A belly full of sodium,

a meal I didn't ask for,

force-fed to the point of bursting.  

 

 

girls.

Morning becomes mourning with the purchase of a vowel.

It's a new day but the same ancient grief

 carried by so many of my sisters,

wearing handed-down cloaks in the

hard heat of summer, in the

deep end of the pool. 

We sweat.

We swelter and

suffer and

savor each each other.

We survive. 

Mourning becomes morning as we rise,

we disrobe.

We are collections of breasts and

brawn and

beating hearts,

our bid to the universe,

our communal prayer.

on growing.

She looks up and tries not qualify her experience with a metaphor. The view is poetic enough: blue sky, sparse clouds. Sun glowing through treetops. Soft breeze suggesting rain in the upcoming moments, hours, days. She doesn't have her finger on the pulse of this place just yet. Not yet. Her fingers are still meandering up and down, touching a wrist, the space behind an earlobe. 

Not yet, but soon.

She looks down and sees earth, soil. Green grass that reaches toward the soles of her feet, that provides cover and comfort for the billions of organisms that live intertwined in its clutches. 

Things are broken and plans have changed. 

Things are shifting and hearts will heal.

There is no running from this truth: it courses through her veins, quietly and completely rearranging the universe, rewriting history, reimagining fate.

It aches. It vibrates and bounces and beams. This, this change of plan, this respite from what is expected, it burns as it creates space, as it stretches, as it reconfigures.

She looks in.

She finds vessels contracting, synapses firing, her neurons ablaze with terror, with light.

She looks in and feels the endless expanse of pores, of follicles, of openings and closings, her blood pumping, her heart beating, pushing outward, growing ever greater.

She looks forward. 

The view is poetic enough.