It’s a wily road, you know.
And every time I wake up, look in the mirror, take a breath, the hinges around my tear ducts start to break.
Someone keeps crying at night, leaving breadcrumbs from within my soul. There are demons and memories and pains eating them before I can see.
There’s a voice farther down that path, you’ll hear.
It coils about your ankles, holding you in place. The silly putty of your heart jumps to please it’s palms. Betraying any nonsense your mind or soul offer. They hide then, small and childlike, alone and bleeding, in the recesses, far behind the grove of trees you used to play within.
No more sunrises. Sunsets.
Instead you cower within the confines of your castles, diamonds. Porcelain masks that keep the chains at your throat from noticement.
It’s an empty promise, that path, you know.
All the petty words, empty shells, carcasses ripped out and left to dry in the noonday sun. Don’t worry. The tide will come in, wash away all the signs, all the proof. Wash away their footprints, but their words never leave the space in between bruises on your back.
Pockets filled with safe numbers, tongues lashing at your drop in armor, accidental glimpse behind the paper mache curtain. Mustn’t let them know. You’re human. Your banquet room filled to the brim with their laughter and guests who watch you when you head to your room.
Lock the door. (Sometimes that doesn’t help though, does it. The cracks in the walls of your spine let them in just the same.)
You didn’t choose this path, I know.
Someone picked you up,
Sat you down,
Slid their fingers inside your brain and switched it off. Gouged your eyes out and clicked ‘play’.
Did you notice?
Those weren’t fingers. They were claws. Leaking with the blood of another.
Do you want to know a secret?
There’s a fork in the road.
Crossroads inside the darkness.
A pair of scissors, lying on the ground below.
Pick it up. Cut the strings.
And then you’ll know.
You left the breadcrumbs, a maddened wild thing inside your chest. All that time kneeling, taking the knife, only made a monster of your heart. They didn’t think about that. How fragile a child. How horrific, how unstoppable a monster. And you know all their shadow puppets. All their truths. You are the keeper of secrets when you’re weak.
But when you wake.
When you wake, hands dirty with the yeast of your memories, demons, and pains on your side, when the silly putty is long dead and dried, when the voice is booming inside your chest louder and louder than theirs about your feet, when the need for a sunset is greater than their diamonds, your hands become stronger than their chains.
You are welcome, then, wild creature, to breathe through your own lungs.
Off their path and into the forest, find yourself.
Then come find us. The wild souls, broken and rebuilt by the master’s hands. Our own.