Of Something Else

by krstaten

It is a Tuesday night in North Carolina,
in my brother’s new apartment’s living room,
just past midnight, in a quiet town
at the edge of a suburb at the edge of an unimpressive city,
on a bright night on a brightly lit street
with a moon just out of my sight that must be full or almost full
forcing its way through the window
with enough light that I have just, by its almost holy grace,
finished reading Sylvia Plath for the first time,
convinced that I have truly found myself,
or maybe that I am about to find myself and I am scared.

It is a Tuesday night in North Carolina and tomorrow
I will put my feet in an ocean
for the first time since I was seven years old,
and I will spend the next ten years trying to find metaphors
for the vastness between the horizon and the sand at my feet,
or between the somewhere hovering soul of Sylvia Plath and the smell of ink,
or for how I think souls work,
or for how no one’s soul is real.

I have not yet learned how many selves
there are yet to discover. There are scars on my arms
that have almost faded completely,
that I have not mentioned to anyone since I was sixteen,
that I do not yet know will be replaced someday
when I think I am too old for such nonsense.
For now, there is a peace in me.
Finding myself means I have sat across a table
from myself in an empty room,
touched my own arms, my own hair,
my own face, reached through my chest and run my fingers
through all the uncertainty,
and decided I am content.

It is a Tuesday night in North Carolina,
or maybe it is a Saturday night or a Monday night,
and the only sound I can hear is the crickets,
and the wind, and my fingers gently caressing the pages,
and my breathing, and my parents next to me sleeping on cots,
and the dog snoring in the next room,
and the leaves outside rustling,
and the moonlight telling me something I can’t understand and I realize
how many sounds are in the quiet,
how many places are on the edge of something else.

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