― Anaïs Nin
I know you loved me,
and that you had used sonar to detect me
standing next to you,
A fake ID is fine
when one is sixteen.
Fun is fun,
until one starts marrying people and moving in.
A common language must be agreed upon.
Semaphore is a strange way to say "I love you",
especially if one doesn't, particularly.
You were kind ointment on the burn
and there were no other medics,
I looked in the mirror and saw only glass.
I looked at the page and saw only an innocent white blankness,
but innocence is unbecoming
past a certain age.
One is expected to have learned something,
to desire something enough to wrap one's self around it no matter the requirement in blood,
and one really ought to, eventually, have grown some guts.
Thank you for loving me,
the idea of me.
Thank you for then becoming false and foreign,
and for going mad.
Thank you for removing all comfort so that I could know it wasn't comfort I wanted.
Thank you for teaching me that I am strong enough to survive such sustained insanity.
With nothing to stop me,
I became myself.
At first, all I wanted was to be a pretty girl.
Is there any coin as common as being a pretty girl?
Has it stopped being a general cultural goal?
Do I look fat in this?
In the mirror I saw that I was not conventionally pretty,
but I was me
in front of myself at last.
Passion, that's what I wanted.
Pick a place you've never been and go there.
I picked. I went. I went as myself.
I went down in flames and then picked again, went again.
I can fly,
and not just in dreams.
Here's the thing I wished for. Fasten those seat belts,
it's going to be a bumpy ride.
I looked at a page and it was white as a bandage.
I loved, I bled, I spoke my new name and went through a thousand dressings.
There were nurses, a lot of them,
but I was the only one turning gauze into garlands.
I am a little bird, a butterfly, nothing much,
but there are lions strewn dead in my path, behind me.
Look again, they are gone.
Look a third time--
the butterfly has lioness eyes,
and the little bird?
Why, the little bird sings a song that can be heard across the night and across miles,
saying I am here.
I am here.
I am here.
A bird who thinks she speaks for lions, houses souls of lions.
for Real Toads mini-challenge: Anais Nin and individualism