Excerpt: Beyond the Fragile Glass (Part 4)

If you need to catch up, click for the first part. And this is the second. And here’s the third.

 I roll onto my back with heaving breaths.

Hana stands up, but doesn’t take her eyes off me. “I’ve never seen anyone react like that to the glass before.”

“I was drowning. You’ve never seen anyone drown in water?” I pull my knees toward my chest and lean up to hug them, coughing as I do. She looks away from me, and a pink flush grazes her cheek.

“Am I the first person you’ve ever brought into your world?” My voice is hushed at first, but she doesn’t respond. Her eyes seem occupied by some other bullshit somewhere else. “Jesus Christ, you could have killed me!” I stand up and put my hand up to my head, ready to attack the sopping wet mane, but my hair isn’t wet. “Why isn’t my hair wet?”

“Because the glass isn’t water. It’s still glass, but it’s a faster moving liquid than normal glass, so it doesn’t make our hair wet. I can still breathe in it, but I function differently than you do. I thought you’d be fine.”

I probably should have been fine, like a totally normal person would have been fine, but these panic attacks just kind of come from nowhere. I’m not sure if I should tell Hana that, though, so I just shrug instead. I look back to where we just made our entrance into this world. I thought I’d see the same ancient mirror, but instead, it’s a smooth flowing waterfall, but not like Victoria Falls or anything. There’s a small river above it, but the water that comes down drops to nowhere it seems.

“Weird.” I touch the water gently, hoping not to jam my fingers again, but it acts just like I expect water to. “Why can I touch it when we’re here?”

“You don’t need a guide to leave the world,” she says. My eye brows raise.

“Interesting.”

“But you can’t get into your mirror without me,” she says quickly.

“Oh, okay.” I turn back around to see the new place we are in. Mostly, there are trees. Just like a shit-ton of trees and green except for a dirt path that cuts right down the middle from the portal we just walked through. “Are we in Washington?”

She shakes her head. “No, this is the first step to enter into Glass.” Her hands wave over the ground above us, like a welcoming gesture. I’m still unimpressed. I mean, we’ve got trees in my world.

“All right, show me what’s so special about this place.”

Poem: Unmystified

I hoped that trip to save my faith.

I thought giving my everything would renew my beliefs.

I thought hearing the stories of god’s power would hold me to the throne.

I thought I would witness miracles.

I thought my god would move mountains.

But at every turn I saw his weakness,

And his pride,

And his lack of concern.

I saw his people alone and abandoned.

Myself included.

And if it is human responsibility to bring heaven to earth

Then what is god doing.

I thought my questions would be answered

And they were.

But god did not answer them.

Poem: When Her Daddy Danced with Grim

i hope she’s grateful i was there
i hope that i did right
and i hope that when she thinks of me,
she’s forgotten all i did wrong
and remembers that i was there
in the white-walled waiting room,
where she baptised my shirt with tears
with her slumped shoulder in my arms
while we grasped at all
it meant to lose.
when i sat and read with her family
though she didn’t expect me to stay,
how i stayed to hear her updates
and prayed they’d bring them hope.
i hope that she remembers
i was there,
and forgave the later when i
was not.

Poem: We, the Rapists (trigger warning)

Rape,
The fair and just punishment
For being.

A righteous consequence

For those short skirts
And that drunk blood
And being out late
And letting me pay
And being alone
And the friendzone
And the needs of
Your fellow man.

What I see belongs to me.

And if you show too much
I’ll touch.
If you show too little
I’ll touch.
If you’re too loud
If you’re too quiet
If you’re too young
Or too old

If you don’t say no
I’ll touch.
I’ll touch.
I’ll touch.

What I see belongs to me.

These your repercussions for
Wanting too much
Trying to be equal
Ignoring my advances
Denying my rights.

Tame the bitch
Remind her

“I am man.”

Let us poke and prod the daughters
Of our families and friends.

“Not all men,”

But with stats like 1 in 6,
there must be more than 1 man.

Is it shame that ties our tongues
Or guilt that makes us scream?

If he is guilty, why not I?
What I did was worse than he,
but I’m a good guy,
So that can’t be.

I didn’t know it was rape
I didn’t bother asking.

I didn’t know it was assault
I just wanted to get lucky.

I didn’t know it was molestation.
Her eyes were shut, so she must want it.

I didn’t know it wasn’t wanted
she was too drunk to speak up.

She made me wait so long
she owed me so.

She said we’d have sex long ago
But didn’t want to too many times.

Her words were hushed
No “no” was mentioned, though
I admit her knees were stiff
And womanhood was tight.
I thought that just meant she liked it

We laughed and drank stiff tequila
Until she passed out in my car
When she woke with my head between her legs.
I thought that’s what she wanted.

She tried to pull away but
God it felt so good, So
I held on a little tighter ‘til
I was good and ready to let go.

It’s not my fault,
They’ll tell you so.
We’ll blame it on my alcohol
Or hurl guilt onto the media
Or maybe I’ll just curse the porn
Filling up my browser history.

Protect our sons
And fuck our daughters.
Don’t let lying whores
Ruin the lives of growing boys.

We all make mistakes
Let us forgive
And be damned to
Any consequence.

My body is a right and privilege,
And all yours belong to me.
I’d never say that aloud,
But my action declare that belief.

My needs are all your problems.
And my ego, your damnation.
It’s not dark corners
you need fear, my loves.

It’s me and my good intentions,
it’s nice guys and blurred lines.

Poem: Indulge

Not running away from the pain
is the bravest thing I’ve ever done–
Choosing against addiction
Choosing against obsession
Choosing against rage
Choosing against self-destruction.

It seems obvious,
but when faced with the unthinkable,
it’s the embrace of an escape,
the whisper on my shoulder,
the promise of forgetfulness,
and this ledge I come back to
again and again.

But as I stare into
the abyss of fake freedom,
I have chosen again
and again to walk away–
To charge into my darkness
To face the throes of my secrets
To conquer my own demons.

Numbness is the promise
to which I say “no.”
And it is the hardest and
most courageous word I’ve yet used.

To simply sit with my heartache,
and remind myself to just
keep fighting,
keep hoping,
keep loving,
keep talking,
keep writing,
and to always

keep going.

Exceprt: Beyond the Fragile Glass (Unknown Chapter)

The ocean line expands before me, pulsating, tugging at my memories.
Sofi holds my hand, and Gloria stands rigid at my side. She looks over at me.
“I know this place,” she says.
I nod. “This was my favorite beach. We came here when we were girls.”
“Ah, we used to race to see how far we could swim. You were such a good swimmer for being so little.”
Her words feel like a wasp sting to my gut. “My parents brought me here when I was young–every summer–until…” I snap my mouth closed.
“Haize? Why are we here?”
There’s salt water running down my face, then. The stones in my chest multiply, but the pressure built behind my eyes for nearly twenty years rejoices. Relief and heartbreak–how these feelings are so deeply intertwined.
“Teddy’s here.” My voice is barely audible above the crashing waves.
“How do you know?” Sofi asks.
“This is where I left him.”
Gloria doesn’t speak. Sofi unclasps her hand from mine and wraps it tight around my waist. She’s young, but in that moment, I watch her childhood fade. She won’t remember Glass after today–none of us will. I can only pray that we remember each other.

Poem: thin lines

It’s hard to love your body

when it’s the reason:

repeated

repeated

repeated

repeated

damage and transgressions.

It’s hard

to not want–

claw

shred

rip

–your own skin off

with shining acrylic

nails, a coffin shape,

etched to kill.

Or make yourself unappealing—

to get so

fat

averted eyes protect your dignity—

or conversely

to get so thin

you can’t

be seen. To be

so thin

that you disappear.

Or

skip the thin

and just

disappear all together.

You can’t violate the air,

Or the mist,

Or the wind.

So become the sky

line drawn

like a race track to heaven—

or hell.

depending

on which God you

believe in. Perhaps

just the abyss.

A white nothingness for all

eternity. With so

much bullshit,

a lot of nothing

sounds

sweet.