I'm growing softer, malleable almost. My bones liquid ivory, like milk they slosh around inside of my body, the skin barely holding it all in. I am growing into the girl I never wished to be. My memories are tear-filled nights and masked days, the bruises on my body show just as much as the lacerations in my mind. They never stop bleeding, did you know that?
At night you emerge with your whips and chains, your tongue at ready to tear and rend what is not yours. I have long submitted to it in my mind but outwardly you seem to see me fight. Why else do you wield your weapons even more cruelly than before?
There’s a sinking feeling now when you’re gone, lost are the days of happy anticipation of a word from my favourite person. This body you used to hold has grown cold. I no longer remember who you are. Breaks are filled with a hollow dread of loss even though you still exist. You remain and yet something is gone.
Like a fruit gone bad, I squish myself into a ball as best I can, wedging the pillows into the hollows your body used to fill. I can almost sense the ghost of you there but when I tell you so you pretend not to hear. I dismiss it and move on to my alter-ego who I adopted at your behest, bright, cheery me. I will put up this mask for as long as it takes for you to remember who you were before. All that accompanies me is a prayer, heartfelt and worn around the edges like my mind. I hold my thoughts at night and worry at them till they fray and possibly, hopefully begin to unravel and make sense of you.
The sun brings tears of a different kind that I struggle to blink away. I wilt now, softening in the light as I emerge into the world and go about pretending to be human, to be whole. Deep inside, my spine curls in on itself like a flower whose stem is dying for lack of water. Or perhaps it is simply roots it lacks.
I can paint my face but it still remains porcelain pale. This flower deemed unfit for the table because it wouldn’t bend just so, it still tries to bloom, crushed petals and all. Mother says I’ve seen a ghost and I agree. It was the ghost of you. And me.
~ Rachel Alexandrina