by Kayla Roseclere
When we were young we were kings, you and I. The field where everything
happened was our only playground, and we walked all over the town until
our feet hurt. I remember playing animals in the grass and never thought
that at 20, I’d still be one now, poising for my prey, never letting
them get away, and keeping them in my sharp claws. There was an old barn
and a forest where wolves lived (or so I imagined). We caught fireflies
in jars during the summer and stayed out until our cheeks turned rosy red
in the winter. There was the basement where we cowered so many times in
fear that, in one breath, God could destroy us all. In my time alone I
would sit in my bedroom and think of how someday I’d go away from here
and live in a big apartment in New York and I’d never look back. I’d
never miss it. Not one bit. Someday.
It’s so funny how the one place you couldn’t wait to get away from is one
that you miss the most.
One day I lead you out of the house to the safety of a trampoline. I just
wanted to protect you, but I couldn’t drown out the yelling.
Mom spiking your hair and velcro shoes. I thought that I had it all
fucking figured out. I wore too much black and there was a boy that
walked to school with me every day. On the weekends I would hold him up
when he was drunk. One day he decided that he hated me and never talked
to me again. I couldn’t ever really figure out why. I guess this is how
it will always be.
I wish you could just go out into the field, lie down, and be at peace. I
wish you wouldn’t eat those pills.
It’s so hard to know that I can’t just lead you away to safety anymore.
You have to find your own way, and the path is dark and narrow and
winding, but you’ll find it. Someday. And it will be so beautiful when
you do. So much better than any old trampoline. You’ll
And if they ever try to pin you down and steal your beautiful wings for a
neat mantel piece or souvenir, I’ll rip their fucking heads off.
Once upon a time there was a drunken man on a couch and in that man there
was a kid, still smelling the paint on the wall and forever watching The
NeverEnding Story in his mind. The hole he lived in was deep and narrow
but he said he liked it better because no one could touch him with their
stupid hands. I rolled up my sleeves and I dug and dug but I got nowhere,
so I put up the shovel and left, leaving him to stew in his own mess. My
hands bled and they gave me alcohol it fix it, so I got really drunk and
decided I should change the world, but first I should probably put pants
on and buy another pack of cigarettes. One time I escaped out of a window
with a boy with a baby shark in a jar and he gave me a piggyback ride
under the bridge so the rocks wouldn’t cut my feet. They were never like
yours, and I wish I had been cut instead.
When they find you down there 80 years from now, like some weird
ancient fossil making love to the dirt, I will take away their
microscopes and gloves. I will wash your dreads in the sink with my
hands. I will cook you chicken noodle soup. I will kiss you where it hurts. When you ask where all the fields went I will point to the sky. My hands will be old and worn with lines, carved with a hundred stories that happened while you were off someplace else. I will sit down by the fire and tell you it all, and when the flames start to fade I’ll feed them my cane and crawl off to bed.
Maybe you’ll still hate me then for touching you with my stupid hands, or
maybe you’ll hate me even more when I don’t. I guess either way I’m not
very sorry. I’ve always been selfish; this is something I can’t change. I
think you will understand.
When we were young we were kings, but my crown got too heavy and my
throne felt too constricting, so I left in search for another world where
people always call you back and strangers always smile at each other,
even when they’re having a shitty day. Where we never have to grow up
because we’re neither too young nor too old and the trees are always the
right height for us to climb but so tall that we get afraid on the way down.
I think I’ve finally found it; there are so many fields and the moon is
always holding up the sky.
I’m waiting for you there.