You smile, and your mother asks, “what’s his name?”
It can only be described as a shard of glass piercing your heart.
You weave the lies so quickly you wonder if you’ve ever known the truth,
but suddenly your phone lights up with her name,
and you’re aware that the ocean is 36,200 feet deep,
and it would take 19 years to get from here to the sun.
(Although, the last one must be a lie. It would take approximately fifteen minutes. The sun lives within her)
Your grandmother comes to you- runs a hand through your hair, pinches your cheeks.
Her declaration of, “you must have many men,” freezes you. Her question of, “do you?” drowns you.
Your silence is an answer to them,
it must be,
because she tells you not to worry,
tells you that God has heard your prayers,
and He will give you everything that you need.
She dresses you—
you cannot do that yourself, not now—
and suddenly you’re surrounded in lights and crosses and
choruses of herhimherhimherhim play on a loop in your mind.
What they don’t know is that every chapel is constructed with her bones.
She pushes your hair behind your ears and kisses the empty spot.
And it’s dark,
But suddenly you don’t care.
“Why can you only love me in the dark?” She wonders aloud.
This is the question that breaks you.
Her eyes could start fires.
You wish they would.