Our Word :: Week 5 Day 2 :: {Waiting} {Most Of The Time}

by Cassie

I am waiting
on the passing of this cycle with the fullness of the moon, the second day smells of hot metal and dying leaves and drowsy moss clinging to the crevices of my upper inner thighs, the tide rolling out from a shore of seashell pink,
and most of the time,
my head goes with it, floating on a dreamy sea, and I’m shipwrecked in my own subconscious, surviving on salty fish and collected rainwater.

I am waiting for
Eve to sneak away from Adam and sit down and tell me her story under a tree infested with snakes and hanging low under the weight of overripe and unpicked fruit, so I lean my face against the bristling beard of old bark and listen for the flaming sword that haunts her footsteps and I suck on the dry end of my pen,
and most of the time, I can
be patient with the paper turning restlessly underneath my palm, but sometimes, tonight, the sweat collects and a breath tears it open along the middle and new beginnings must be found.

I am waiting to
feel more like a mother than just myself with two kids, or does everybody feel this way, that odd displacement of time and space, where your face in the mirror is the before-prom face or the first-time face or the just-married face or the first-wrinkle face but no I’m-the-mom-face? But turn me inside out and you would see their fingerprints imprinted all over my soft tissue,
and most of the time, I don’t remember
how it felt living without them, when love didn’t beat like war drums inside every vein, when the sighting of a single freckle couldn’t undo me, when my heart lived behind just one breast.

I am waiting
for someone to save me from my procrastination –well, my fear, because that is the true name of it, that is my Rumpelstiltskin and I would fill five castles full of spun straw gold before I would say out loud what a coward I am, how I hide this faint heart under layers of reasonable sounding logic but the quaking inside makes me seasick and
most of the time, I think
all that green around the gills is covered up with concealer and a strategically placed scarf, but you can smell it on my skin anyway, that animal scent of prey lowering its eyes in anticipation of the pounce.

I am waiting in
this stardust skin that feels like home again, standing under many-named moons and swooning as the songs of frogs bind my bare feet to musky dirt still damp with late spring rain, and it’s hard to feel alone out here, living out life over the bones of farmers and poets and soldiers and sweat-soaked housewives with cracked open hands, hearing their secret stories carried up through the soil on the skinny roots and bright green shoots of a newly planted garden,
and most of the time, I can’t even
understand a single word they speak, but later I will cut out the tongues of the heart of the tales and rinse them under running water, hold them in between my teeth, and in the hallowed halls inside my throat, they will be transformed into something sacred and shared.

I am waiting between
the air and the top of a scratchy blanket while the TV flickers a static shhhhhh and I don’t think he even knows I’m awake as he shoves his knees like knives between my thighs and does a “no” even count if no one can hear you? and I don’t blink until it’s over because blinking means I’ll cry so I stare at the fuzz of the screen and his breath smells like smoke every time he exhales into the back of my ear,
and most of the time, I believe
it wasn’t my fault, I didn’t consent, but I drank too much and I didn’t fight back and I only remember his name was Ryan and his eyes were green like dirty beer bottles and it’s still too much, even that.

I am waiting along with
the other she-wolves among us, spread in a circle under winter moons and summer crescents, and we howl but so few hear us, still we gather our young on either side and teach them the hunt, teach them the wild and the sweet, and our daughters know the heat of blood and our sons will know the magic of it, and
most of the time, I feel
the lupine bones under this human face, the sex smell of fur between my legs, the heavy pads of paws pressing out against my palms, and when the silver light spreads out into the shadows, my jaw can break open bones and bury them beneath me.

I am waiting with hope in my heart for
healing– for the body of my mother as it fights invading forces; for the spirit of my sisters as they slay the urge to stay and lay down their weapons; for the parts of my heart that lie cut off and twitching, refusing to be stitched back with the whole, and for the parts of my soul that insist on a space with bars on the window and only enough sunlight to warm their skin, because they don’t want to die but they do want to suffer, and
most of the time, I know exactly
the kind of woman I want to be, the wise woman healer, the soft-spoken shaman, but so much of me is still so new and I’m like a baby batting at my own two feet, and how can I claim a mantle of wisdom when I’m fascinated by the sight of my barely skin-clad bones dancing in the air above me?

I am waiting under
a bridge I built with blocks I carried upon my back, and I named each one, carved it out with the sharp end of an ancient stick, guilt/regret/you forgot her birthday/you never said good-bye/you lied/you lied and you cried while you did it, and it’s cold down here because the sun stops up at the top, but I sit here shivering and you know,
most of the time, I don’t hide from
monsters, but when the monster is me, the confrontation is brutal and looking full on in a mirror leaves me broken, so I come here to huddle under stones that have no faces so they can never see me cry.

I am waiting
for the rest of my life, if you want the ugly truth of it,
and most of the time, I prefer to think
I’m living it, but I’m not. I’m not.

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