Ginny Lee

Remember when your hand no longer looked like your hand?

It was the middle of the night
An aftermath of cicadas robbing you of your thoughts through their incessant hums
And that blinding sliver of moonlight was your only companion
For a month straight
In a shoebox of a room
Because even the slightest whisper
Or scent
From the world
Was an overwhelming embrace
That smothered you
Till your breath was lost
Under layers of
dense upholstery drapes

When the weight dropped into a place deeper than the pits of your stomach
That you never knew existed
And you dragged it around the grocery store, thinking it would help
Feeling like your intestines were getting caught up
In the rusty shopping cart wheels that skidded
In all different directions

And when that kid told you to stop by it drained the color from your face
Because you no longer loved them or hated them or felt anything towards them

All they wanted was a good laugh from you
As always
So you laughed for five minutes straight
As common courtesy
Then took the long way home, throwing plastic cups stained with liquor
Into bushes and front yards

And someone else bought you coffee at a quaint corner shop
When you got a call
But you just kept quiet
Because that’s what you were used to
Pushing down that ever-growing mass
Deeper and deeper
Till it flattened temporarily
Folding in on itself
Jagged edges pushing into each other

On the ride home all you could think about was
How you were supposed to act
To be
And how nice of them to give you a lift

Thinking about a woman who reached a ripe old age years ago
Claiming she could die happily
Since all was well
But she stuck around for too long

Long enough to see the slow deterioration and crumbling
Of someone
From your first memory of rain
Who caught the train to work one day
Then fell through glass a few days later

And you still did the readings
Solved all the problems
Pulled out weeds in white hot heat
Till dirt was caked under your fingernails
And the mosquito bites swelled up your foot

You sat still on a balcony
Emptying the sand from your shoes
Staring at a hollow cicada shell
Clinging onto a dusty lawn chair

Then when you blinked,
it was night again

In the moonlight
Your hands looked like someone else’s

And you thought it was funny
How your hand no longer looked like your hand.

Ginny Lee is a junior studying Radio/Television/Film and environmental sciences. She thinks about her cat Tango a lot and hopes to go on a road trip visiting obscure attractions reeeaaal soon. Eventually.