I let myself be broken, and became a keeper of broken things.
People pinned parts of their pieces to me — called me Mary — told me no one else’s hands could hold such dissonance. They admired my heart as a port in a storm, some slice of solace from the rain. My ribcage was safety, holding them.
In a car my mother points to me and says, We are the same. Sometimes she is the picture of loneliness, other times, strength. I recognize the truth in her words, but still, the space between them and complete honesty.
I am her, plus.
I am her, also.
I feel no fear. I have been loved because I was all there was — I have been loved completely; my crooked smile, my long fingers. It comes and goes, like the seasons or the phases of the moon.
I am a tide on the same ocean as any woman.
We keep all your broken things.
We wear them down to sea glass.