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
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.