Yes, but can you fly?
she said to be a feminist; that’s what she told me to do. i told her my femininity was a pair of old crows tied to my appendages/i told her my mouth would flood rivers with fantasy/ i told her princessmermaid ariel was strapped to my head in a series of painfully acquired hair-extensions and i told her i was already woman enough to know my womanhood. i wrapped this hood (little red’s or robin’s, or something on the spectrum between femininity and what you want me to be) around my face – i wrapped it – i wrapped it close. i felt this rapture, the wrapping-paper still paper-mached to my mother’s fingertips. i felt all the paper, the plastic, the riptide lipstick lacquered onto my lungs (by now, I’m sure, like tar from cigarettes – doesn’t makeup stick to ribcages too?).
i made up my mind to matter. i willed my matter to mistake myself for a woman. i willed my womanhood to hold close to my own hood (childhood being at least one reason why). i went, hooded and clutching, hansel and gretel-ing and groveling and ingratiating my way all the way to that hut in the woods (goldilocks was there, but baba yaga too). i told baba yaga of the words that keep wrapping around my head like a hood (is it a scarf, or a rapture?). she told me courage was a monument; i was a firebird; love was a causation; the divine feminine was a lake. i told her i had lost the ability to interpret fairy tales (childhood being at least one reason why), (and that furthermore, they were encouraging me not to). she said to be a woman; that’s what she told me to do. i told her my femininity was a pair of old crows tied to my appendages.
This is the way the story started
This is the way the story started. The story might have had chapters or thoughts or moments or stanzas, but they all bled together and they all looked like one another and so in truth…the story dug its swallowing hands out of the deep belly of its own fertilizer and ran around collecting its own raindrops until it was thick enough to be drunk. To be felt rolling down the throat. To leave a formidable taste in the mouth. At least the aftertaste could be described, if not seen.
Well, the story was about a girl. Or a girl was the story, or her story was the way she was all the parts of herself. At any given moment in her life she looked like a flash of light or a bolt of color nameless amongst the star region she claimed as her name. There was an alchemy to the world that had made her face pulse together out of a certain collection of elements…and that little bundle of genes had at last found its footing inside the realm of a daffodil that had turned fleshy and round at the edges.
Her dreams were made of all things she could find – old paper longings, new tides of reminiscences, soft lingering kiss intentions, and folded up wads of duct tape. Her dreams came in waves, in derivatives and in dollops. Her dreams scattered wounds across her fickle, freckled face and sewed patches on old-ragged-lawnchair-hand-me-down-hearts. She had a spherical soul and she dreamt her life away.
This was the story of the girl I wrote over and over. Her story kept beginning and kept ending and I kept finding myself in the middle trying to see if I could see her in any place other than the side of my mind. It began like this a thousand times and one…or at least, the moments when it began to begin wanted to convince themselves they were beautiful enough to be a beginning.
Lauren Suchenski is a fragment sentence-dependent, ellipsis-loving writer and lives somewhere where the trees change color. Lauren believes in the inherent creative capability within all people. You can find more of her poetry at @lauren_suchenski on Instagram and @laurensuchenski on Twitter.