Forget your perfect offering

by amy sharp


Maybe in the middle of life we all lose our minds for a little bit. I think some people make it back like a vision quest or something.  I think some people don't. I used to think we were reckless back then. I have the most interesting and complicated people in my life and I always thought everything would stay the same if I willed it to be so. So much laughing. It's now when life is desperate and wild and hungry. It's now when I wonder what it's like to feel like you are not drowning.

But some people come back. I hear the tales.  Like one day the smell of coffee is enough to wake you. You practice forgiveness. People look interesting again. Faces familiar. You start to allow yourself to say things out loud. The truth with its thorny edges. The lies dipped in shimmering honey. You don't think about breathing. It just comes. You are shocked at all of the things you used to not know.

I stare at my friends now when I'm with them and wonder what is inside of them. I hardly think anyone I know is really happy. They keep secrets. We all do. I want to tunnel through their flesh and bone and pierce into their minds. I want to see inside of someone else. It would make me feel better. I could handle the truth of what they think and feel. I could. I live with myself. I've seen undone.

A few days ago you were looking at me from across the room and I just felt so lost. I wanted to shout out about how I was in some forest. Some wooded area. The edge of the world. How I was not really here and that's why I looked so weird. I wanted to step inside of a time machine and my mouth would be hanging open and my smile would be that amazing flashlight out of the darkness and I'd look right back at you with my real eyes. But I could not speak. I blinked so fast that my tears went away.

I think I have a bunch of cracks and light isn't even getting in.