We glass girls aren’t as transparent as you might think. We are the ones that look so easy to define, to see right through, to look at with your head cocked slightly to the side — the way that a puppy peers at you in a funny kind of way when you make your eyes WIDE at it when you pass it on the sidewalk.
Us glass girls come into this world with hearts the shape of paperweights, a little bit heavy, but not weighty enough for you to be scared of us.
(Even though you should be.)
You take my hand. Your fingers are the size of mine, long and winding, wrapping themselves around my palm: vines that crawl up brownstones.
yes i own this house, it is mine,
look at her if you must, but know that it is i who
will go home,
wrap myself around her,
hold onto her,
put myself inside of her when she isn’t
by those cracks in the wall where
my roots can slide through.
You think that just because I let you wrap yourself around me, you now UNDERSTAND. But what you don’t yet know is that I can change shapes, shift bodies, move around in ways so that you won’t even recognize me tomorrow, because I am not one single thing.
Try to put your roots in me. I shall just melt myself, mold myself, morph into grains of sand.
the glass girl’s manifesto:
- Don’t let them see you cry.
- Don’t let them see you cry.
- Never let them see you cry.
You take my hand. But you do it differently than the first.
You are leading me somewhere, taking me with you, as though we are both setting foot on a ship that will take us on an adventure back in time. You are not trying to break into me the way that he did. You are not trying to find a gap, a crack, the way that he was. You are not looking through me but instead: directly at me.
You make me thinkfeelhope for the first time in centuries that:
I could be my own entity,
I could exist to fulfill my own purpose,
I could be more than the function of someone else’s desires.
But because of you, I will eventually shatter into a thousand shards that no one will ever quite be able to put together again.
The first among us were made from obsidian. Men polished us, hid us from their wives, and gave us away to their mistresses. Until, eventually: we fell out those unmentionable places — tucked away in their bosoms, between their breasts, in the crease of their hip, the places where only their lovers could lay a hand of love or lust — and someone in an ancient city somewhere picked us up and fell in love with us because we showed them a lovely, less lecherous version of reflection of themselves.
Those of us that came after were stained in ruby, emerald, sapphire, sunlight shining down right through us so that we were stark naked on the floor of a cathedral with ceilings so high that even god Herself arched her eyebrow up in surprise and asked us: what is it that they are doing with you? what have you let them do TO you? But worst of all: is this what i taught you, girls?
Now, most of us sit on your dining tables, allowing you to fill us up with flowers and ferns. We are so used to you tucking us into cupboards with your china patterns, into places where we can barely gasp for air that we don’t waste our breath crying out for help. Those of us who just can’t take it anymore simply: dissolve. So that suddenly your china cabinet suddenly is filled with grains of sand that trickle down through the gaps, collude with the dust, and wait for the summer breeze to pick us up and take us away.
I am waiting for you to bump against me when we walk together, for your shoulder to touch mine, for you to slide your fingers parallel to mine so that our palms touch. I want you to take my hand mostly so that I can feel if you will try at some point to to find a way to melt me, manipulate me, mold me, or crack me the way that the others have.
But you haven’t taken my hand. At least, not yet.
I think it is because you have seen a girl like me somewhere on the sidewalk.
I think it is because you know that we are not one single solid, liquid, sedimentary particle that you can push around any way that you’d like.
I think it is because you are hesitant, afraid, aware of what/of whom you are dealing with here.
Have you been with a glass girl before?
Us glass girls all come into this world in the same way. But not all of us will leave it as such.
Some of us melt back into a liquid. This happens when we give ourselves in to someone else (and their life) entirely. Have you seen the way that the ocean doesn’t have an end or a beginning? In that way, neither will we. You will see ripples and waves and maybe that might have been us that you caught a glimpse of for a moment just now.
Some of us wait for years and years, passed on from one generation to the next. We hang on walls, sit on windowsills, wait with our head between our hands until we are knocked over by a child running through the house and we are shattered, knocked into pieces, and swept up into a dustpan, crunched with the garbage and finally ready to turn into something else.
And then there are a few of us who leave our crystal bodies through our own doing. We are the ones who were expelled, ejected, banished from glass. We are the ones that broke the rules. The ones that revealed our secrets. We’re the ones that looked into your eyes when you were in bed with us, on top of us, wrapped around us and let you see us sob, weep, whimper.
And you knew in that moment that our translucence was nothing more than a reflection of what we wanted you to see.