There are motions that crack open the audios files inside my head. I don’t realise what they are until your voice is playing on the loudspeaker in my brain, blotting out all other thought with the echos of your absence. Salted caramel for the mind, both sweet and salty, love and tears. I will hit repeat until the lump in my throat jams the mechanism and you stutter into silence.
In the months where I’ve lost track of time, I cannot tell if you have begun to sound more like me, or if I am becoming you. Rolling the words around my mouth before I speak as if to stain them with your voice. Familiar phrases still clutter my tongue as I sift through the vowels jumbled between my teeth. You spoke so easily compared to me, I do not think anyone notices that I am using your words instead of mine.
Learning how to thread these sentences into conversations is a little like taking the waist of a dress in a few inches before learning how to sew. My first attempt was loose, hung off me in waves of excess fabrics, clearly too much for this frame to fill. Now I have perfected pinning those syllables to the slope of my belly, the valley between my breasts, the skim of thigh and knee and calf, the strain in the hollow of my throat. I can speak without catching my heels on the hem, so the words pout forth like water now. You are there in the current, but I have found how best to navigate the flood.
If you roll a postcard landscape, it will fit inside a bottle. I discovered this when I held everything I wanted to tell you between my palms, and worried it so much it shriveled to a cylinder so thin it fit inside the empty coke bottle you left on the windowsill.
I used cork to keep the second thoughts from escaping. Coke bottles are surprisingly soundproof. Even the apologies find it hard to rattle the glass enough for me to want to turn and look. With all the silence that is left inside this house I sometimes wonder if I should pour out the content for something other than quiet. So far I’ve kept that bottle closed. I guess I’m stronger than I feel.
I tossed all those words into the sea yesterday. The water wasn’t deep enough and the tide brought you back each time I tried until eventually my arms turned to lead and I could throw just as well left as right. Should I thank you for that?
The weather’s been nice at least. You would have liked it.
My Great-Grandmother did not turn grey in her old age, she went white instead. The photos of her in younger years are tinted sepia to the point where I’m not sure what colour her hair once was. I think it might have been the same brown as mine, but that’s just a guess. I’m sure my mother would remember if I asked her.
In my memories her hair is the same colour as icing sugar. The sort we sieved over golden mince pies straight from the oven in the kitchen, bronze mincemeat bubbling through the cracks. Though we only made them at Christmas in my head the sun is beating through the windows and the tress are heavy and green. Beneath my tiny feet the orange seat of the dining room chair creaks with each movement I make and there is flour beneath my finger-nails, packed tight beneath the tiny half moons. I know it is my job to decorate the pie crust before it goes in for baking. These stubby fingers will mash pastry rolls into smiles too thick to cook all the way through. When they break open after dinner, the dough is still white.
Spring brings daffodils
snowdrops, tulips and crocus.
They don’t stop growing.
It’s Haibun Monday again at dVerse Poets Pub and tonight our prompt is ‘grey’. For some reason it reminded me immediately of a comment my Gran once made about my Great-Grandmother not going grey but going white instead while both her and my mum had grey streaks starting to appear.