the sparrow cannot fly.
I was listening to the first 5 minutes of this, on repeat.
I place my hand on my chest. My heart clamours out of its place, too scared of its own beat.
If you look closely at my chin, you’ll see a jagged arrow pointing straight to my heart. I got it when I tumbled, aiming for the stars one day.
I have a moon-shaped birthmark on my collarbone with its own star. There’s a universe of freckles mapped out on my back. It draws different planets, stars, and solar systems colliding together at the heat of my skin.
But now my shrivelled skin forms a sparrow-shaped scar. It carries itself left of my breasts, in the corner beneath the arches of my arm, above my hip.
The sparrow cannot fly. I cannot teach it new tricks.
My voice, barely audible anymore, shivers between two mirrors. There it is. There it goes. And there, above cells, plasma and tissue — there, on a fickle plate of truth and illusion: There it lingers.
There are things I cannot tell you anymore. In my mind, nothing more than illusion seems farther than the truth. But there they are, and there they go — together in one breath. There it says, underneath it all, there can be no more truth than illusion. And there, on that same fickle plate between illusion and truth:
There it will remain.
I don’t know what to tell you anymore. There are words of strength I no longer can repeat to myself. I hum to myself a tired song of sunshine. I tell myself: You will pull through. You always do. But ‘always’ is illusion. There is no constant in time, and ‘always’ is an unreliable protagonist.
The truth is, I am crippled by fear.
I am afraid that every time I see my reflection in the mirror all I’ll be able to see is a sparrow-shaped scar, left of my breasts, in the corner beneath the arches of my arm, above my hip.
Help me see myself. I haven’t survived this. Not yet.