The Marble Woman

Today I am tired. Which is to say,
I’m still not sleeping well. Which is to say,
for the first time in a long time
I am craving sleep.
Not rest, or relief, or a break from it all;
A sleep that promises a waking world.

It is not as futile as exhaustion,
More so a yearning to stop fighting
with myself; to put down the anxiety
and just be for a while.
When I let it go, I find traces of its grip
still imprinted in my skin, and I wonder
how long it will take for them to fade.
Will I be rubbing the scars forever?

Anxiety is so needy, so heavy.
The psychiatrist doesn’t know
how I’ve held it for this long.

I tell her I am a woman
carved from marble with a wishing-well heart
that goes all the way down.
There is not a more suited torch holder
in all the world.
People come from miles to see me,
to throw pennies in my well and leave
when I overflow with too many thoughts;
no longer pretty to look at.

It was a miracle that turned me into
stone, or maybe a curse,
it all depends on when you ask me.
But the stone that gave me the strength
to carry my anxiety allowed me to corrode;
to be weathered away by the elements;
by the very water in my well – I became
rust.

The psychiatrist doesn’t think I can be
the marble woman much longer. She tells me sculptures
do not last forever. I tell her,
sculptures do not last forever. I tell her,
neither do humans, and that’s
part of the problem.
But if the marble woman won’t live forever, then I guess
There’s no point in not being human. At least for a while.
A trial run.

I have decided I don’t want to crumble anymore.
I’m tired of watching as bits of myself
wash down the drain. I am tired of watching
my loved ones watch me, tired of being
babysat like tin foil in the microwave. I am
so tired of dragging my anger around by my ankles,
and I’m tired of never being satisfied with
myself –

Today I am tired. Which is to say,
I’m ready for sleep; ready for dream;
ready for sunlight on the windowsill.

Today I am tired. Which is to say,
I am ready for a new day.

 

 

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