chipped off hands, chiseled skin. the flakiness of chapped lips and the stinging of salt against a forgotten wound. when you realize you're bleeding from your fingertips. idle hands always were the devil's playthings.
trapped in your head but careful not to be let go. it's not all you've ever known, and it's definitely not the happiest you've ever been but you feel safe in there, in the chamber of trivia, neurons, best friends and nerve endings and organs and blood and water and imagination all crammed into a tiny space. maybe that's why the thoughts are always so eager to get out of their prison cells, tired of being smashed against the barricade and run over by everything passing.
simply wanting to love makes for bad choices and retrospective heartbreak. but wanting to love something and have it love you back is such a simple thing that people seem to take for granted now. to love inanimate creatures and books and words, fucking words? they're dead and lost and no one could ever have anything returned from them, only to. but put your heart into everything you find your interest in, do all you want because it'll be what's best at the time. not in the future, oh, no, but hell, no one can think about that these days without getting a bill from the insurance agency anyhow.
so you think about the way people's hands work without a single thought, how all the strings are pulled perfectly so it won't hurt when you move but it'll give some leeway to everything. a catch-and-release kind of deal. or maybe an action-reaction one. the way habits are carved in ivory-lined neurons and synapses locked up in that head of ours, how forgetting your size can cause such distortion when you finally see what you are looking at for what it truly is and not what it is in your mind-- pale, willowy arms with thin chains wrapped around bumpy, skinny wrists, and gangly legs peeking out from cuts and holes in your jeans, the folds of your skirt and when you move it's like the flames ghosting your body around the ground, your eyes closed and your lips with their dust-pink pout, your sparingly dashed eyelashes curved on your cheekbones, sprinkled with the tiniest of honey sprinkles. your spider fingers have curled around another's once, and it felt so natural you stopped breathing when they fell apart. like everything, they did. and you collected the pieces shamefully and skulked around the house for days. natural flow of things was the reason for it all. you'll love again when things mean more to you than they do now. and you'll grasp another's skeleton hands in your own wisps of fingers and you'll kiss with your own dust-pink lips when they push theirs out in the pose. and bodies will mesh in the haze, and all the peppered thoughts that have floated outside your head will be calmed and returned, their nerves having been rattled for so long, finally soothed by honey voices and timber laughs mixing in the heavy air surrounding.
you'll look at your fingers again one day and see that they've changed. that they have grown and lengthened with years passing, darkened and bleached in the sun like negatives to a camera, hardened with the pressing of strings and softened with the calm touching of old lovers.
you'll kiss them once with your dust-pink lips and then lay them on your chest.
your ghost will slip out your toes and you will be gone, leaving nothing but the grey shell of your ivory skin, pink lips and careful, spidery, willowy hands.
you cannot offer more than you have, child. so offer it with the entirety of your heart. love like your body wants to. and kiss like porcelain against light.
the dust always stirs in the air, but when it settles you will see it.