i. A glass jar containing my collection of their voices; the good ones. Lilted inquiries of my mood, my little brother’s groggy “good morning”, the soft timbre of my mother-proud of how much I’ve grown, his voice- clapping against a windowpane of shame to reassure me “it’s okay. You’re only human”
ii. My other collection of voices, the bottle I try and try to smash against the sidewalk; the bad ones. Shrill pointed exposure of my grotesque physique, cold assumptions of my morals, the sharp blade of my mother’s tongue- slicing ribbons of self-esteem, his voice- trailing off at “you’re not ugly”; the silence when I need reassurance in my beauty.
iii. A pocket of silver coins, always filled at the beginning of the day and emptied by the end because I’m tossing them desperately into fountains, lakes, ponds, puddles. Eyes glazed and dreamy, wishing wishing wishing
iv. Left-handed scissors- I’ve never met anyone who had a pair and I need them in case there is ever a time when I feel vulnerable. They’re good for cutting away devotion, tearing through envy, and silencing guilt.
v. A ballpoint pen for when my world begins to melt like crayons in the sun, I can scribble out my final reassurances to those who feel the same as I do before I am claimed for my sins by nature’s mighty wrath
vi. A flask of liquid courage, more a poison that murders my love for others so that I may walk freely on the burning coals of ridicule- I’d never survive long without this
vii. And finally a pair of headphones, so that I’m never left in silence with my thoughts.