Artemis Drifting

Just because she tippietoes, doesn't mean she's a creepin'.


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I put a picture away, I fold up a letter. I cry. I know this is natural, that this is healthy. It’s just something I’ve never done before. My memories wind into my DNA, using those curving ladders and their sparkling seats as home. I don’t know how to undo it, to break it apart and send those feelings flying would be breaking apart my very self. Whatever I am, whoever I am, whatever I’m going to become.

I take a breath and put my head in my hands. I feel my hair slump over my fingers. I’ve reached the two roads and there’s no sign post. There’s no warnings. I can’t just walk straight ahead, there’s a dark gulf between them that I know is bottomless. Sitting at the point is no option either, my choice to remain still would rob the color from my hair and bleach my corneas bone white.

Either way is hard. Either way is perilous. One road welcomes me with willow trees and a path as soft as moss. The other is murky, uncertain of itself, in the space of a blink the curves ahead can twist into unconquerable loops. I’ve never taken the easy way out, that much I know about my character; I also know things have never been easy for me, and my triumphs over the many darknesses that have followed me since my childhood have served to make me resilient.

I know sometimes I step up to the arena to fight a battle that I know I cannot win. I take blow after blow, spitting out blood and teeth for a dream I’m not even optimistic about. I torture myself with the possibilities, I torture myself with what I’ve lost. I’m under the bright lights and I cannot see anything beyond the ropes keeping me inside. I tell myself I don’t need to be rescued: I beg to be rescued. I want to stop this brutality on my soul, I want to crawl away from the kicks battering at my ribs.

I want the path that makes me happy. I want. I want. I never knew I could want. I never knew I could want something for myself. My life has been by proxy, living in the smiles and tears of others. Now my body burns from the inside, calling out for the hand to lift me away from it all. My Lord saved my soul, now I want someone to save my life. I used to feel that it was weak to need, to open up, to use someone’s shoulder when I’m stumbling. I wanted to be the horse that steadfastly carried my loved ones to safe havens, crossing whatever perilous land ahead.

I don’t want to be a means to an end for anyone anymore. I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want to be a saint. I just want to turn my face up into the autumn wind and not have tears running back towards my temples. I want to stop telling myself I’m alone, spinning away with no tether to the ground. If I am water, then always, I will fall back to earth. I have to remember that.

I want to be the rain that fills someone’s upturned hands. I want to be a precious heat inside of someone’s heart.

I want, I want, I want.

And thank God.

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