I go through periods where all I can do is write. If I don't, the words settle in my stomach and make me ill. I write about Sunday mornings lying in bed, about boys who drive black cars, about the smell of the library after lunch and the sound of shoes on the hard floor and the way he watches me.
Other times, I feel barren and dried up. There are no words, nothing that comes effortlessly and flows. Every word takes thought, meticulously transferred from my mind to my tongue to my paper. I feel every nerve moving as I run the pen along the page, feel the work it takes to be the translator.
It is in these barren times I find myself collecting moments. Analyzing how it feels to lie in bed on a Sunday morning, studying the science of how things work and why, capturing the particles that wind themselves into old movie theater seats and the first snow fall.
I like the writing phases a lot more. I like having words, letting them pour effortlessly out from under my tongue. But I'm finding that being still has its beauty too.
I saw a trailer for a movie once where the girl pulled feathers out of her spine. Even though I've never seen the movie, for some reason that image is stuck in my mind. These past few days my skin has been peeling, I'm warmer than usual and there's scratching under my skin. It happens sometimes, part of a transition I suppose. And I can't help but check for feathers.
I feel hurricanes in the pockets of fluid between my bones and I feel tornados making ash out of my bones and I feel stars twinkling in my blood stream. Sometimes it feels like poetry and other times it just feels like a natural disaster lying dormant beneath my skin, a trauma waiting to happen.
People ask me if I'm ok and I am. It's just that I'm restless, tired of waiting for this transition to happen. I'm using my fingernails to claw back this layer of skin, revealing a newer, pinker layer underneath, fresh and ready to be worn away. I feel more fragile when this layer of skin has been worn through, done its job and ready to be replaced. When I'm in transition, I absorb everything like its life giving oxygen. I become very aware of the storm brewing inside of me.
My knees knock together. I unravel myself like a sweater. I am composed of moments and I feel as though I only have room to hold a few at a time. It almost feels like I'm a hoarder, pressing these moments into nooks and crannies inside my body where they don't belong but its simply because I'm all out of storage space. I peel back layers of flesh to make room for new skin, unworn, unscarred skin. My hands shake from pulling away the peeling layers.
Sometimes I feel like a car crash waiting to happen. I see the headlights before me, see the moon above me, and I brace for impact. When I hit, everything explodes and I think I'm raining stars.