I told her I felt hollow on the inside. That if I were to tap my sternum, all it would do is echo. It was funny though, I didn’t feel light. My bones had no weight to them, but this pull to the ground was heavier than expected. It was almost as though I could only breath when my lungs were horizontal and my eyes looked up toward the heavens.
She told me this was no place for heaven as she exhaled a breath she had been holding into the night. We were walking home on unfamiliar streets as we shivered and shoved our hands inside our pockets. There was something romantic about the cold. We bundled in our jackets and lit candles inside our windows. The smoke and warmth formed a barrier to the outside. We could be whomever we wanted behind the cloth, there was a way of escaping in this new place. In the cold we could meet others, be the people we’ve always been. We have never been the type to hide our faults, there is no shame in showing you’re human.
We passed a man on the corner, he asked if we had been saved. We weren’t sure what we needed to be saved from. We are kids in grown up bodies. Clumsy still, toddlers learning to walk while we watch the candles melt. We trust in the others, each other, knowing we can always relight something if it burns out. Our laughs pierced through the freezing air. You could hear our cackles in the distance. Our smiles reached our eyes and we knew nothing about being saved.
We said if he wanted to look we could show him what we see. How we mended the air, the light, the moments into whatever we wanted them to be. There are no rules where we are, comforted in the cold. We inhaled the smoke of past lovers and let whiskey disinfect our hearts. I told him I felt hollow, but there was never a moment I couldn’t smile. He asked us if this is what women do. We were outside of ourselves, experiencing what we could. We said, sometimes definitions are useless.
He asked us what we loved. We said each other and everything we can touch. Our fingerprints and hair will be all over this town before we are finished. When our time comes, it will have been enough. Our hollow chests will become more than empty bones filled up with pretty things. We wanted to breathe and know we weren’t alone. There were books to be read and poetry to be written.
I told him I was a terrible poet. He said something could be hollow and still worth loving anyway. That was something to have been saved.