Ideas never came to her in the shower or when she was trying to fall asleep at night. When she was younger, she had always felt a little broken for that.
“Just take a break from it and relax,” her friends would say when she struggled with a(more) problem. “It’ll come to you.”
‘I can’t,’ she’d think, though she nodded agreeably. ‘It won’t leave me alone like it leaves you alone. I need to rip the seams out one by one and watch the way the fabric unfolds. What shape is it when nothing else holds it together? How else could it be sewn?’
“Stop living in your head so much,” a boyfriend once told her, after a long and exacting dissection of her best friend’s most recent romantic tragedy. “You’ll be happier.”
It was only when something demanded every drop of her focus that flashes of insight visited her. Pushup number thirty-three launched a drop of sweat from her forehead. It fell through the air of one world and landed on the floor of an entirely different reality: she suddenly understood the nature of her professional stagnation. Pushup number thirty-four was executed with a sense of awe; thirty-five, with a determined smile.
She realized she was in love again the first time she went skeet shooting. The knowledge landed lightly in her brain just before she pulled the trigger, sending the shell wildly astray.
“Whoa!” said the beloved in question. “What happened?”
“I’ll tell you later,” she replied, putting the shotgun aside.
She kept a notebook and pen in her purse just for these moments. It was filled with cryptic messages.
“sleeping truths scarier to wake than the cyclops”
focus, focus - focusfocusfocus
until you can see the light through the blood in your capillaries
that lurk at the back of your eye.
focus until the tunnel vision turns black on either side
until words pour indiscriminate from your gaping jaw focus
focus until you don't know what(more) you were aiming for,
there's nothing to focus on,
til there is dust in your hair and your bones.(less)
vicious, poisoned youth with mouths full of venom
unable to focus because they're told that they can't focus because they don't focus in the way that's thought "normal"
vicious, poisoned youth trying to keep their fangs crossed their claws unsharpened just to keep from having to hear the words(more) that tell them that they're not who or what they should be
or how they should be
but then they ask, what should we be like?
what should we, the vicious and poisoned children with mouths full of venom, what should we be like?
why do you think that time is unchanging,
why are you never open to any kinds of differences?
and those vicious, poisoned children who try to keep from spitting the same venom they're treated with everyday, those children
are the future.
vicious and poisoned youth. vicious and poisoned children. a litany of why. a litany of how.
a litany of listen to me listen to me
when no one ever actually even tries to.