Engaging with the outside world falls away like shells of walnuts cracked apart for the prize within. Could this be the skin of my serpent soul sloughing off in the violence needed for me to be truly free? To release the dead and dying threads binding me for ages so I may finally live? To make sure death does not spread to healthy tissues: to protect vitality where it’s managed to survive? A child of war hiding under floorboards waiting for the bombs to run out, hoping to find wild green grasses for ashes one day. A clear breeze as a gift from an ancient island lagoon or an alpine lake, hidden from mankind’s machines. A dove’s wing brushing her cheek like a kiss from Spirit to remind her of more than this. Or is it just the way of pain, to be slammed upon the altar again and again until I break, and the only delicious center for the gods to eat is surrender? To beat me til tender. To be as a prayer rug, dust shaking out for clean knees. The silk for needles to pierce and pull and form the garment for the prince’s coronation. Or the foliage and seed or the crawling thing, dying under a wanderer’s feet so he can see the world. Still I reach for life like a tenacious sprout pushing through the hull and layers of earth to find the sun, when maybe I’ve always been a child of the moon, or another celestial body made for dimmer light and discorporate forms. The place where shadows prance in violet twilight and spirits run free in the teal green ocean of air non-distinguished from aether. Sylphs and faeries and feathered friends you only see when you aren’t looking for them: creatures composed of whispers and dreams. Maybe I am but a dream in a body briefly, here to remind others to make more of their sleep.
Copyright © 2021, Sheyorah Naify
Author’s Note: This is another piece written about living with chronic pain and increased immobility from a genetic degenerative disease. Thank you for taking the time to read it. It means a great deal to me.