I wish I could tell my mother

The bed is clean again; sheets folded, pillows void of imprints. No one sleeps. Now hours are spent standing by the window and no longer by the phone. I’m waiting to disappear—waiting for nothing. This window is my swear jar, I toss a coin in every time I speak a word. Look around and look at me, I’m as empty as glass pieces stored in boxes hoping to get carried away in horse-carts. I’ve been reading again — nothing much of intrigue but plenty to be heard. It’s cold here, but I have made a crib out of my mother’s wedding dress. Her scent remains unmarred, much like anything else she has ever touched. Yesterday I tipped over a bowl of red paint. I walked on it. I hoped to grow into her. Too soon, too soon — there is time and space left for me to be fashioned into something less dispiriting. I’m sorry, I was told to run. But I float here instead, two hands wrapped around my thin knees like cerements. It’s been a year since I last saw anything worth being kept. She already told them about me — that I’m good, that I’m better; and that I’m a lost child with my head still clinging to her warm lap, that I have made a world behind my closed doors to keep myself away from all things promising. I’ve become lighter than before. I’m afraid, don’t tell them anymore! I’ve become a conflict. Please understand that I’m a concept waiting to be explored. Feel no more, walk louder! Peel pieces of old ceramic basins from my feet: I’m trying to take us both away and live past this babel of tormented musings.

Somebody opened the door —who is he and why does he understand me? What does he want and why does he want it from me? I’m sorry mother, I woke up. He left. Send him my word for it— and my youth. This city reeks of unreturned passion. Cars leave and never come back, I stay to watch the cold water crawl on the blue glass. They race, I cheer. When it rains I go out to wander in between colossal faces and buildings dressed to attend funerals; and like the silhouettes of barred apartment balconies I float invisibly in search of him. Amid the storm I lose sense of time. He never gave me a name. It’s news that I’m lost now.

Art: Ren Hang – The New China

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