If I gave in and crumbled, tumbled down like night falling into your arms, would you catch me and put the stars back in the sky? What if I am not as strong as you would want me to be? I’m not interested in being twisted by a dare. I’m afraid to care too much. I know that you aren’t playing. I know that you aren’t waiting. I know that your aim is true and I am not, not yet. I need time to reorganize my head, rid myself of dread and own myself again, before I can give myself to you the way you want me to. I am afraid to have you think less of me and be a prisoner of that. I am not ready yet. I know that. But I will tell you a secret, an extremist never bluffs, the cards are good enough or they aren’t. I am afraid of you, though maybe I am more afraid of me.
What power you have awakened, and how I know I must keep control of it, keep the tides on their schedules and the planets where they belong. I listen to the old songs and all the words fall like soft rain on the water, disappearing inside, becoming indistinguishable one from the other in the moment of a storm and this is how I see myself with you.
When the Wolf was in the street, massive black and charcoal, looking at me…, you, looking at me. Standing between me and he who walked in the shadows, so much purpose in his stride, how could I not be frightened? I did not know he always takes his steps that way, always going somewhere, always meaning business.
You saw them take me away. Sitting there in the back of that car never having felt so precious, never having felt so inside myself, on the verge of sliding myself through the door to escape, on the verge of hysterical laughter screaming until I was free from my body and streaking down the street on white light rails, my body would have disappeared out of the car then and that son of a bitch would have had a lot of explaining to do later.
I am in too deep. You have done exactly what you intended to do to let me know it had been you all along. The Wolf in the footlights, the Wolf down the driveway, the Wolf in the air, the whispers, words and dreams I dreamed of Paris after dark and swing sets in the park listening to a Skylark sing a spark to a dirge, you there in between, keeping me safe in whatever way you could, hiding yourself in the contrasting shades of day and night, the way I had learned, not understanding what I was until that night. Looking at my hands, seeing my nails growing that way, watching my feet swelling, busting the shoes away until I was barefoot again, feeling the little spikes that felt like needles poking through my skin from underneath it. Thinking that I was dying, instead of being born, instead of transforming.
Teri Skultety, 2008
from, Gold Mine