I traced the silhouette of

her body with the tip

of my finger. I felt every

indent, every character

flaw, every blister on her hand

and I felt the cold crescent,

constant moon. I saw your outline


shift; your body contorting. I

heard you call yourself a woman

displaced in time. You had your

toes dipping in the river, and

you told me you wanted to feel

the bedrock, despite your not

knowing how to swim.


You wonder why it is called

“cold steel” when it burns so

hot when it has drug across

your thighs. You cut your hair

shorter than you cut off your

sentences when you feel you

are talking too much. “I’m

sorry. I’m sorry. “I’m sorry.”


Our fingertips are not

intertwined, but our veins are;

our vocal chords entangled. I

feel the wiring in your brain;

firing neurons like a firing

line, and you stand proud. You

call yourself damaged goods.


I wonder why you are so

fascinated with the ceiling

fan. Are you trying to keep

your eyes aligned with the

blades? Could it support

a body? If it is anything

like me or my legs,

it cannot.


There is history here; the

rooms in the hallway, the

pictures in frames.

Southbound down 65 with an

unopened bottle of Jack

Daniels. You imagine Hell


being a slightly hotter

version of West Lafayette.

You see bridges over

interstates. You freeze

frame the moment of the

collapse. Replay the

memory. Letting go is an

action which requires active

practice. Your hands are

wrapped so tightly, but

gradually you are lifting

fingers. When it rains,


your makeup runs. When

it snows your makeup

runs. When it is hot,

your makeup runs.


Keep close the knowledge

that you are the binding

of my books. You are the

ink in my pen. You are

the sound in my song.

Sing. Crescendo. Crash.

Collapse. Rinse. Wash.

Repeat. You say that your

father was an artist. You

are but a painting. I am

only a washed up memory.

You still sing the words

Like a battle cry:


“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741