The Picture

Some days I feel so apologetic about everything. How I move, how I sit, I how I step, what I wear, when I talk and definitely when I don’t. I cringe at my explanations, my hesitations and I cringe at cringing. I won’t let my eyes meet with anyone else when I walk down the street or through the corridors, for fear of admitting to myself that they can see me. By the end of the day my jaw feels like a slab of concrete my head has fallen into and gotten stuck in. By the end of the day, my entire skeleton falls in a heap on my door mat, pushing crusty dust under the skin of the carpet and the wallpaper, as the front door closes behind me and sighs. Heaving with the weight of the day.

Other days, I feel like I can take my time. I can take up space, I am welcome to the world and I can take from it what I want. If something goes wrong, I don’t assume I am at fault. I can ask people questions without apologising in the same breath. I can ring the bell to stop the bus without the justification of someone else following. I can kneel to tie my shoe amongst the rush of the pavement.

I like these days best. But I’m okay when they don’t come. Sometimes I’m just not lived in enough to be looked at or listened to or consumed by the day at all. Sometimes I want to sit and exist with people who are content to just breathe with me. And although a lot of the time the day demands more than that, I feel full knowing that I’ve stepped out of the hush to play in the picture when all I wanted to do was sit, breathe and watch.

Photo courtesy of Larisa Birta

Categories: Poetry

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