Before You Ask How I’m Doing

bloom blooming blossom bright
Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on


Before you ask me how I’m doing, kindly check your bandwidth, and your tolerance for “too much.”

Ask yourself if you’re ready to see my ebb – my mud covered, shit smeared, sun baked, claw-crawling self as I inch toward a faint scent of water. Not pretty.

Ask yourself if my abrasions, shiners, banged-up deep-seeping splits still left open to heal slowly – my 1000 cuts gaping like tiny mouths or vaginas, filled with ooze of “not ok yet or maybe ever” – will be “too much.”

Do you have the bandwidth? (Do any of us?) If not, kindly tell me so I can put on the well-polished half-smiling mask – don the nodding camouflage of “ok” – sustain the Illusion of “l have my shit together” – prop myself up against something more solid – and confidently voice the “no problem” and the “I’ve got this.”

Some wounds simply cannot be reached by our own hands. We try to deny this. We ignore the rot because tending and tenderness seem too much to ask.

Yet, if we could see – really see each other – we might find a sea of extras for The Walking Dead – carnage shambling toward unspoken needs, but with light pouring from fissured skins like miracles – glowing slivers of what we are underneath meat suit and culture – the not fine yet sublime.

Can we, though wounded, become fingers dripping with poultices? Sinews and needles and stitches? Conduits? Hacksaws? Tongues tracing scars and tender spaces? Ears tuned to whispers of barely speakable truths? Witnesses gazing, unphased, as exposed truths furiously burrow back underground? Can we be hands that hold through screams and labor and deaths without letting go?

I hope so, but I do not know.

I cannot to fix any of this, so I weave a secret fort – invite you into sanctuary brimming with pillows and blankies and plushies – hope that my cries to some greater force to enfold us in healing light as we enter is heard – that divinity might open us like poppies – to embraces and cuddles and naps and snacks and flashlight stories – curled together as littermates once more.

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