The Cavalry Never Came, So I Became My Own

I hadn’t given a lot of thought to the burned maps of my past — to the women I have been who were quiet, and strange, and afraid.

People measured their time by the length of my hair, by the strength of my stare, by my ability to say no and mean it. I’ve been told there were calendars made by the years it took me to learn to make a fist — that there were sundials carved from my collarbones, and wound up alarm clocks in my kiss.

I am change in motion. I cannot be held or pinned down. I cannot be caged or kept. It took far too long for me to love the wild thing in my heart — the way it breaks down doors and starts fires as if the hazel of your eyes were forests deep.

I have wanted to break, to fracture and splinter off in hands that were far larger than my own — to trust the rebuilding to calloused carpenters, for them to snap and pop the bones back together, to doctor the pieces until I was whole.

But the cavalry never came, so I became my own. I did not harden, or close off — I did not make my teeth into ivory towers and smile no trespassing signs…

I loved.

With a strength that stole my breath. With an intensity that made me glow. I gave so hard I left  impressions on the ones who were lucky enough to ever have me. And when I was wronged, trampled upon, lied to and betrayed, each time I learned. Each time I bandaged my burned hands until I was whole enough to hold another.

And when I held him, I did not disappear. I did not bruise. I did not shy. I wanted. So deep I got lost in it. So pure I could not articulate it. And in the night, when it was finally my turn to take, I did not come up for air — I kissed him so long those wound alarm clocks rung, and in the distance of my desire they only sounded like wind-chimes.


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