Ghosts of Christmas Past

I twist myself up like this weak piece of napkin in my hand,

wringing, and twisting, until all I’m left with are bits of something barely recognizable,

white crumbs that I can’t hold

but I try endlessly

scrounging around on my hands and knees for each fallen piece, like picking at lint that was never there

and I keep twisting myself up

trying to make myself so small so I could fit in this mold, this idea

of what I think it means to be;

my paper doll identity.

but I’m just left with broken pieces that I can’t fit together

have you ever felt so big and yet so small – my remoteness takes up the room, but I’m barely here.

And all I ever wanted was something that lasted, that endured

that I could call my own

because I was never my own

I belonged to everyone else

like the ground beneath my feet

so present, and so vague.

Couldn’t they spare just a piece? So I could give that piece to you?

And then wouldn’t you be mine?

And then wouldn’t I be yours?

But now I am too twisted,

and it makes my belly quiver

as if I swallowed my own heart,

to think about what is and what was

whatiswhatwaswhatiswhatwaswhatiswhatwaswhatiswhatwas

what is

what was

what

is

what

was.

I let the pieces of the napkin scatter, leaving my hands stained by frosting residue mixed with the clammy sweatyness of my hand.

“Happy Holidays,” I smile.

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