Maybe if I would have


Kelsey Dantuma

Driving back from a friends house; my neighborhood and my street and my home.

I have always had a habit of taking on more than my body and brain can hold. These things take up space until my head is fuzzy and my lungs are sore from trying to suck in enough air to hold up the frame of someone whose body is failing. It’s all just things. Nothing necessarily important or life-changing, just things that cause my legs to become heavy and my stomach to restrict as my mind turns over and over again into itself.

Sculpting the people around me is exhausting, and recently I find that I don’t have the time, nor energy, to care enough to take out my clay and my tools and my water and my paints to mold these things and these thoughts to reflect something that I have fixed. The cracks run too deep to be undone and mistake upon mistake upon mistake—they frustrate me as I pick at the hairs on the back of my neck in the early morning.

This place is sweaty, and the air and all of its uncomfortable warmth makes my impossible hair curl, my hands shaky, and my clothes stick to me. Sometimes I think that I might just slide out of myself and step apart from a life that has gripped me too tight for too long. But the chipping paint on the walls tells me to come back into my mind as it itself is slipping; its spirit is dampened from all of this suffocating humidity that surrounds me as I struggle to head from place to place and struggle to complete basic tasks.

I walk alone almost every day; the hollowness in the trees reflects the inside of my stomach that only goes away when I balance on the yellow line that cuts through the center of the path. It’s a stark contrast to the greys and the taupes. The leaves’ chatter is too loud when the wind forces a conversation through them. And I find myself leaving this road unsatisfied from the meaningless small talk and their conversations emptied of life and passion and feeling; they too are void from the unbearable nature of nature itself. The thick green takes all of the light and hoards it hidden in its canopy cover. It soaks up the yellows and oranges and reds and purples leaving only forest greens and cool blues, blacks, and browns for us—for me.

This placid life is unbreathable and so is the air and maybe that is why I speak in sonnets—or maybe I’m just unable to say anything more than fragments until I find something or someone worthwhile again to fall into.”

I sit around feeling small as I stare into a bowl of Cheerios and wish I could fall into it, for what a simple life it would be. But the infinite loops just stare blankly back at me, unable to think or feel and also being broken down by wetness that finds its way into the air I breathe. There are no thunderstorms or exciting shows of light twisting and cracking across a grey sky, this is only the after-rain. The grey sky sticks around, and I always feel like I am missing something—sleeping through the patter of droplets on the sidewalks and the booms that rattle the coffee mugs stuffed with various pencils and markers on my desk.

There is nothing here to look at, so I will move along and move farther away from this plastic chair. This placid life is unbreathable, and so is the air. Maybe that is why I speak in sonnets—or maybe I’m just unable to say anything more than fragments until I find something or someone worthwhile to fall into all over again.