Ashley M. Jones
When I wept to him, I didn’t know my soul was slipping from between my teeth, floating out to look at me. Girl, it said. Who are you? I didn’t know. I didn’t recognize my own voice as it sat in the air between us. His eyes looked strange. They were the same eyes he’d worn when I met him. His hands were a stranger’s hands—weren’t they the ones that held me, that painted a world of dreams we both knew could dissolve with just a little soap and water? I said, why are you doing this to me? What I meant: why did I do this to myself? His apology carried the same stench as every other word he spoke. What kisses could he give with a mouth like that? Greedy kisses. But I wanted to give. And I gave until someone said enough. God blew my eyes open, as if shooing dust off a table, as if swishing sand off the inside of my arm. It burned but I was so glad to see the world again, to see the golden ropes which held me here, to God, to my family, to this world which wanted me, after all. When I wept I wondered, what is love? Not this. I wept—a new kind of death—I put out my hand and heard my pretty blue soul calling my name. It looked from him to me, and what I want to tell you is what my soul saw:
nothing and nothing and no one and nothing and not a single warm familiar thing.