time & ocean

by Marisa Siegel

I am walking today like a stubborn pony, my foot kicking back with a tentative fury. And thinking about horses, about a girl who loves horses and the summer. E. and I drove past the stable where I learned to ride one day last year and it was closed. I cried and got hot and angry. This too couldn’t be allowed to exist.

How quickly we get from little girl: A bucket the beach laughter. How little girl there still is, scraps of her. You is a character like she and I and everything else. It knocks me off my balance this need to define. My intentions are certainly questionable but I have answers. I will go back and add line breaks. I am paying attention to commas.

I had occasion to revisit my high school yearbook. Skimmed through strangers telling me that I didn’t need luck. You are so talented really talented the most talented. (But we hate you.) Skimmed through various versions of myself so much smiling. I used to be coy but now I’m just tired. My foot trembles when it’s tired.

And no I don’t need a particular box to remember who first said best smile. I need the box to believe that anyone exists outside of elbows and artifacts. And to restrain what I can carry, limit its blurry mess. There is control involved all the time, almost. Leave room for air. Leave the room for air. Leave, make room for air.

Abruptly swing to the different shapes of the disappearing, reappearing bruises. Scars become ivy growing over another gate. What gates do, what I do with them. Why it’s time to need another tattoo. To mark tangibly that I exist outside myself, for myself, again.

July is rapidly becomes nearly-here. Am I coward? The question is about character. She and I and everything else is just filler for time and ocean,