Today was hard to get up. It’s hard to get up when there’s no one to get up for anymore. Is this what it means to be domesticated? When the air, the sky, the sounds, can’t reach you to call you out of that watery dream? I wonder how I got here and what I’m doing with all these minutes, flashing change-- the green lights above the stove hinging into different crooked lines, so quickly. Geometrical whisper.

I sit here with all this shame curled up like a cat on my buckwheat hull mattress who’s loose kernels scratch me in my sleep. Who’s bolsterous cotton pearls slip away from each other, leaving gaps and grooves where hips sink down to meet wooden bone with linen skin. My truth seems to hide from itself when there’s no one to speak it to. My heart is the only one that beats in this space. And I don’t admit to myself the sadness of opening a can of artichoke hearts, emptying the water, and then nestling the ribbed tin back into the refrigerator. Snuggled gently against the jar of mayonnaise. Tucked behind the pickles. I don’t admit to myself the dazed sadness of an empty house, and the shadow of finitude that prevents me from ordering something soft to sit on. The shame that bubbles up from my stomach when they encourage me to spend my days grinding coffee beans into coffee powder, and turning coffee powder into coffee juice. And resting that cup of dark brown liquid on the counter and shouting “Amy!” All this in exchange for a higher number to appear inside this rectangular glass portal I carry around in my pocket. If not the bitter adult juice, carry plates! Plates of small food to the woman with the gray hair who will push it around on her plate so that night her feet on the scale tell her eyes that she’s so light, she just might fly away. Fly away from here. Far away where she’s free. Where the trees remind her there’s a gust of wind worth living for. It lies just behind the mountains. Her wings just might catch it.

I soaked in the bath this afternoon trying to dissolve my shame into the water with rose epsom salts I poured out of the plastic velcro bag and into the mason jar. So I could rest seeing what was hiding inside the container.

A pink flurry of salt reminds me of fairy dust. And the cloud of childhood memory musk I seemed to walk through on this path with Stacie today. Barefoot, prickly pears, shaded ice, reminded me of being in Charlotte’s backyard, plucking onion grass out of the ground. Scallions. And laying them out to dry on stones. And then this plume of ancient satisfaction rising in my gut. Some hearty soupy pleasure that made me feel like an old gnarled woman draped in a putty colored shawl. Concealed in my 10 year old body. And these warm embers crackling blissfully in my womb--like laughter. This thing called a womb that no one had taught me about in school but I had read about in this book my mom bought me. With drawings that show me how breasts change from cones to more rounded things. The care and keeping of you, that showed diagrams that were just unclear enough to completely misinform me about vaginas. It was just that I was terrified of the day that I would have to choose between letting blood flow or keeping my bladder full. Since these diagrams seemed to show these fluids using the same pathways. Simultaneously trying to let out and hold in. The management of it all. It seemed like such an unethical dilemma. Now I know that nature is much too intelligent to have designed us like that. And what a strange notion to have a part of the body, locked inside a skull, that is capable of fundamentally misunderstanding what lies below it. Or get so clogged with memories of barbies, and sticky cup holders in the backseat of the suburban that there might have never been a moment to feel my body. To feel that I do in fact have, 3 separate holes down there. There was never a moment to know. Instead all these moments of keeping my fear at bay. Of swallowing it and letting it nest between the layers of muscle in my tired heart. Of dealing with some primal grief of living on the opposite side of the glass from the tree, the leaves, the blue sky, with the air that reminds me of what breathing feels like. A primordial sadness, seemingly indescribable. This undeniable notion that seemed to crawl under my skin, and release air bubbles. An agitation that made it impossible for me to sit still or speak up. The feeling that I was trapped inside my life. Inside this kitchen. The feeling that I am not designed for this.

I’m not designed for spaces where I scream and you can’t hear me. Where we touch but you can’t feel me. I’m not designed for drywall. Or clothing made from petrol, dug up from the deepest depths. I’m not designed for metal shields to shoot me through space and time so quickly. So quickly, I wonder how I got here. I’m not designed for your latex gloves that hold tools tapping on my knees. Not for lights so bright I can hardly see. I’m not designed for cold metal stethoscopes to listen to me breathe. Or blue thin paper gowns to cover me so inadequately. I’m not designed for these asphalt roads, or this pink sugar pudding that craves me so. I’m not designed for these walls that trap me, or the bleached synthetic scented wad of white meant to stop this ancient bleeding. I’m not designed for bleachers. I’m not designed for clocks. I’m designed for howling in the night. For moonlight on pepper skin that I pluck and eat. For drizzling juice on my chest. I’m designed for dancing. I’m designed for getting lost and happening upon something I never knew existed. I’m designed for wandering and dirt between my toes. I’m designed for watching birds, and listening to the wind. I’m designed to hold you and feel my heart open. For my womb to open, to birth new life. I’m designed to cry when I see the sun make shadows so beautiful. I’m designed to let my hands explore the world. I’m designed to feel sadness. I’m designed to grieve. I’m designed to scream. And for you to hear me. I’m designed for the running and panting of life. I’m designed to climb the mountain and the tree. To see into the distance. I’m designed to walk into the valley. I’m designed to feel the naked ocean on my skin. I’m designed to wrap you in my arms and feel my muscles loosen.