When no one protects you
I was given strong words too young.
“I hate you,” spit between the thin lips of my aunt, whose blown pupils delighted the car ride between towns with absurd humiliation.
Hills passed in the window behind her, fading in and out of shadow paths cast by the setting sun. Her twitching hand rested on the door handle.
“Maybe we should get rid of you.”
If a tree falls
If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?
I have always felt the pain of others in the depths of my own, buried in my keen observations passing time in silence. So many carry hurt and pain that it shapes the way they hunch their shoulders and burdens every step they walk, not wanting the knife’s tip to turn and fall down.
But some slipped through grimaces and curse words directed at someone beyond their scope. The careful tucking away of feelings that come tumbling out, I caught them before they hit the ground.
If my hurt tumbles out, does it make a sound?
Gossip is a lingering illness, termites in the foundation of a new home slowly eating away at anything. But one word spins and spins out of control, turning to tales of mountains collapsing from the breath of one saint, or the reincarnation of a propagandized war machine.
From one mouth to another, more vicious than the last. The new house on the street corner is raised onto stilts, tilting in the breeze.