21 Jan

Here’s something: ten fingers squeezing together two palms, pinched at the edges like an empty ravioli. If you squeeze tighter, the space between begins to disappear, until the two fleshy sides meet. The space where Nothing was Everything, now filled with Something, and maybe if you press hard enough, hold on long enough, Something will become Everything that Nothing could not.

But then you let go. If you’re not careful, Silence will sink its teeth into Something’s fragile flesh, rip its arms from its sockets, its feet from its ankles, joints popping and breaking like knuckles cracked before a fight. Don’t leave Something alone in the dark. Shroud it with laughter and varying timbres; say Yes or No or I Need You To Be Better, but don’t say Nothing.

Sometimes words are hard to utter. They march up your airway from the belly of your lungs, but then stop, scared of what your tongue may do. They clog your throat, pushing and shoving their way under any fold of skin to hide; they don’t know any better. They’re small and scared, because their parents never taught them to be brave. Show them; help them grow and mature into confidant souls that will fight on the front lines.

We need to hold each other closer, mix what’s left of Something into cement that will keep us together.

Use whispers to smooth Something into the dark crevices of your elbows and knees. And on the slippery parts of your hearts– the places that are hardest to make stick– use words like Love and Mine and Forever.

Know that this glue isn’t permanent. You will come loose after too many showers. But just because it isn’t waterproof doesn’t mean you can’t stand in the rain. Let the water pour over your skin. Stand together– heads up facing the thunder clapped sky, mouths open receiving the flood.

Clasp your hands together in one last desperate attempt to shield Something from the storm.


3 Responses to “Speak”

  1. leeraloo January 22, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    I LOVE THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THIS. It also makes me want Italian food.

  2. elysiasmith January 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    you are beautiful, abby. on and off paper.

  3. lindseyplaval January 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Ravioli palms. Yes yes yes.

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