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Aug 2020
the sparrow fits neatly in the palm of your hand, its tiny heartbeat pulse fluttering against your fingers. its life can be as short as closing your fist, as long as your mercy.

there are many small things like the sparrow, you know, many small things in the palm of your hand. do you choose mercy? do you choose a swift end?

the sun is dying.

you know, the one hiding in your concave chest? the one crying over the waxy feathers scattered across your bathroom floor?

the sun sinks into the horizon-sea and you wish you could follow, but your feet catch on brambles and the waves pull away away away...

you are cold. you do not know how one can feel such cold and survive. yet, here you are, alive.

sometimes when you look at me i wonder why you can smile with eyes so sad. sometimes i wonder why your lips can stretch over your teeth in a ****** snarl when all your eyes seem to scream is your desire to run.

sometimes i wonder if you know i love you. sometimes i wonder if you think it matters.

god brushes away your tears with just the tips of their fingers, holding you gently as if you are something precious. but then, maybe you are. what do you know?

but your dog doesn’t know why you are sad, only that your wet face tastes of salt and the sounds wrenching themselves from between your teeth are wounds. his tongue is like sandpaper on your cheek, smoothing out your harsh edges and softening you into something worn and warm.

your mother stands in your doorway, an old pain wearing cracks into her indifferent mask of freckled skin like yours, an ancestral grief painting fine red lines on the whites of her gunmetal eyes like yours. children of your line have always been tender warriors, but bullet casings are tangy on your tongue and angels’ song hums just within the shell of your ears.

your mother watches you, with god's hand in your hair and their gentle whispers in your ear and your dog’s nose pressed into the crook of your neck. her smile is tentative, tremulous, but then again, she always has been, even with knives in her hands and razors between her teeth.

it is okay to cry when celestials make their nests behind your eyes. at least now your mind is one with the stars you have always strived to reach. at least now even with your thoughts you are never alone.

even if you are an old soul, the universe has existed for so long, your hundredth reincarnation is still a child against it.

when you dream, do you dream of the many-eyed creature twisted between the tree roots in your front yard, the being of bright eyes and ****** teeth and ocean-deep sorrow? do you lay in the grass and wonder what a tragedy that beast is, to be monstrous in form but as soft and small as the sparrow at heart?

it is one thing to polish your misfortune until it is a gleaming weapon. it is another thing entirely to let your cracked-stone heart crumble into the dust and dirt you’d use to sustain the flowers you’d weave into crowns when you were younger.

the butterfly knife in your pocket is cold. you haven’t touched it in a while.

it is raining. each drop falls, soaks your clothes, clings to your skin. it anchors you to the ground, and you breathe. the air is damp and electric and you are alive.

you will die someday, of course, but for now you sit as high in your tree as you can climb, face tilted up to the cloud-obscured stars. maybe one day you’ll join them. maybe one day your heart will burn in your chest again, a reignited fire.

you trip up the staircase after being away for so long, high on the realization that living is as simple as breathing and as difficult as touching the core of another human being, of what they are.

you don’t know who you are anymore, but that’s okay. there’s no such thing as a permanent state of self anyway.

‘the end’ doesn’t always mean ‘game over.’ sometimes it means ‘it’s time to write yourself a new story, to begin anew.’

—just remember: i’m glad you exist

Hannah Marr
Written by
Hannah Marr  19/F/Canada
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