February’s theme is integration.
I have a hard time taking the things I know to be true and making them a part of myself. I think a lot of people have this problem too. I have been told “You’re smart,” or “You haven’t gained that much weight, really,” or “You’re a good person,” or “It’s not your fault,” and I suppose them to be true. The scientific, specific evidence is in their favor. You could make charts and graphs or repeat them a hundred times. There could be a PowerPoint presentation.
It’s not that I outright disagree or even not believe them….But some days, I have a hard time making it feel true.
THE WAX CASTLE
The turrets came out in one solid piece
each from our ears
like candles from a birthday cake.
They had numbers too.
The rest–the drawbridge, the walls, the keep–
were harder, hammering flakes
into putty, then into brick,
after pliers breaking open,
digging with fingers and arms
for long-ago sounds.
And further back, we needed a jack,
the kind you use to change tires,
to yank our heads wide open
for wax formed against brain
from when we first heard
our own crying.
Our heads split open, teeth jutted out
in jaws like rocks.
Spelunking gave us the bends.
We had hoped what we heard would keep us safe.