I had a dream the other day about torpedoes, about torpedoes crashing into mirrors and scattering them all over the floor. And in the reflection of the shattered shards I could see a Ferris wheel, the lights all twinkled and girly, and it would have made me happy in another construct, but in that moment, in the absence of everything that had held me up, all I could see was the memory of what I fought so hard to remember. And there was no truth in sight. So I let go for a little bit, and started to remember. I remember watching your child run into you, face opened, arms up, and I thought, ‘God, that is beautiful.’
It was the safety of it, that was what got me. How she just sort of ran into you like that, like, no matter how she hit, from whatever angle, she was going to stick the landing. And I tried to remember what it felt like, that kind of insulation, but I just got chilly. I thought about those broken shards, littering the floor, chandeliers in reverse, and I wondered if upside down and backwards was the only way I knew how to see. Because, you know, vision is a funny thing. Like with me. I can see what you see, I see you trying to see me, but I can’t see you unless there’s blood and glass on the floor, until roses are mixed in with speed. Do you see what I mean? There’s no hope in this, I’m trying to tell you, there’s no way for me to walk across this room of broken glass shards just so I can start to see. Because, then, I’d be bleeding. And I don’t know if that’s what I want to see.
But then I look down, and see the paper cuts all over me. And I think, maybe I already am bleeding, or maybe I’ve already run out of blood, or maybe I just can’t remember how to see. And when I get past all the thoughts of bleeding to death, invisibly, I start to look a little more closely. And I see all the lights reflecting in all the glass shards, and all the colours running into each other, and it makes me think about kaleidoscopes, and how they manage to squeeze so much more life out of every particle than the rest of us and I want to be a kaleidoscope, but not the kind that are too full or too tired to find a bead.
And then I start to remember, I remember about the mirror, the hands that grabbed it and smashed it to the floor. They were mine. It was me that didn’t want to see. I crawled my way out of a kaleidoscope just to build another with my own two fists. And you saw me, and you said nothing, just sat on the sidelines, waiting for me to finish, and when I did, you were still there, waiting, saying, ‘What do you need?’ And I tried to not say anything, I tried to leave, but you just kept staying and I didn’t know how to dismantle that, or break it up. So I took a step forward, and it hurt, the colours blinded me, but then I realized that all that was happening on the inside was what I was recreating on the outside, so I breathed, and you just watched from a distance, and you didn’t say anything.
And I wonder if there is more to this poem, but right now, knee deep in pain and roses, the only thing I can concentrate on is what I can see. See, I wanted to be blind for you, because I was taught that that was beautiful, but now the only thing that I want to look at is what I can see. And I can see you, standing there, waiting for me. And I’m trying to get past the rest of what I don’t know how to remember but it’s going take a little time, it’s going to take a little time to dig out all the shards, to separate the colour from the speed. And I’m not asking you for anything, except maybe to stay awhile, and if we could just stand here, arms length apart, you could help me start to name the things I see.