Heavy Lifting (Jukebox Pt. 3)

Somedays my body feels heavier than others. I can give in, if I choose, to the collapse it wants to pull.

But mostly, I just choose to deal with the heavy lifting.

For Natalie.

rises the moon (Liana Flores)

The flowers seem to sing a sad lullaby to me. It’s not out of pity or mocking, just because something in my face tells them that it’s needed.

I walk wearing my dress with pockets today. The one in deep blue, with white vines stitched across it, the neck low enough for my clock necklace.

Even that hangs heavy.

Each step I take is the reminder of the full weight of time, which wraps around my neck in a thick copper chain.

I wish I could hear it ticking, but it stopped doing that years ago.

The breeze is humid and I drown in each drop of it. It feels as if gravity has changed its formula just for me, and all I want is to feel weightless.

My boots kick up like Coraline’s did, without the same wonder. I’ve got a stick in my hand pulling me toward the well, but all I get is a pothole, not another mother.

I’m careful of the cracks, and the rocky ground that follows them. My mother calls me back home, and I come, but not quickly.

She rubs my sweaty head and smiles with sweet sadness.

Her baby feels the weight of the world.

When I get in, the thermostat reads 93 degrees Fahrenheit. It feels much worse than that.

My bed welcomes me warm, and it’s the only time I’ve ever cursed it for being that way. The fan circles, but not fast enough.

Everything today works to spite me.

Roddy (Djo)

I’ve got a chocolate croissant in my hand that makes me feel better.

The wind still bites and the grass scratches my knees, but the moon, my old friend, takes me with her to the clouds.

Tonight she shines without her stars, and that’s our fault. Too much light coming from somewhere else.

Once I finish my pastry, I dust the flakes off of my chest and lace my skates back up.

It isn’t the best idea for me to be out here this late, but I can’t stay inside a second longer.

During the day, when I skate down the boardwalk, there’s too many people to worry about.

Couples that like each other too much, spouses that don’t like each other enough. Both of them in love, though.

Children running circles around their parent’s ankles and others that are there without them for the first time.

Employees that have stayed stuck to these planks for years, and others that just started, both ready to quit, and laughing about it loudly.

Everywhere I turn, it becomes more evident that I am the only person without somebody else to be concerned with.

So while the sun is still up, I come here, and become concerned with everyone.

The man that works the bottle booth, whose hair is a lot shorter than it should be, with glasses that make his eyes look like buttons. He’s there more than the other bottle booth boys. He’s the meanest one.

The woman who brings her kids once a week, to get them away from the house and out of her hair. She’s got kids with black hair like hers, and brown eyes like somebody else’s. She catches me staring sometimes. She only smiles.

I wonder what little decisions they made that decided what their lives have become. I wonder about which ones that I am making that decide what mine will become.

And then I spiral, and I spin out, and all goes to hell.

So it’s easier, for me. To come at night and have no one to be concerned with but me.

And the moon, of course. I let myself be concerned with the moon.

(Though, she is more worried about me.)

~~~~~~~~~

For Natalie, my number one supporter since I hit publish in 2018.

Go follow her art accounts on instagram, and allow yourself to indulge in appreciation of the wonders she creates with a digital pen.

@natsketches_

@knickknatss

Love you always, Nat.

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