Views from the Valley Literary Magazine - Page 3


I was strong, confident, happy. I was open, warm,whole. I am broken, bruised, discouraged. I am scarred, fallen, afraid. I am the lost love between older brother and younger sister. I am the absence of secrets shared at midnight between close sisters. I am the abstract noun in a life-changing situation. I am the mask every person has, filtered, disoriented, chipped. I am struggling, beneath the waves. I am not the birds singing in the morning, but rather a fleeting memory, lost, alone, and unwelcome. I am not waiting for my happy ending anymore, but rather just an ending. They say that everything is going to be fine, and 15 years I’ve waited. They speak in riddles, tongues I do not understand.

They lie and thieve, robbing me blind, taking a piece of me. It was that piece stolen that destroyed me, but I guess then I’ve always been destroyed. I am the one broken key on a beautiful piano… forgotten. I have whispers in my ear, and demons in my head, and I can’t get them out. I have regrets and sorrows. I am the scars on my arm, born of pain, but the scars and pain are like spacing between words—familiar, everyday expectations. I am not the same girl I was years ago. I feel as if people cover their mouth and point as I say, “Please don’t say that. I didn’t use to be this way.” I wish I was first pick, the first one you thought of on a beautiful rainy day. I wish I was not as broken, barely keeping my decaying pieces together.

Sometimes I wish I was the drugs my mother kept within her reach, tenderly attending to it’s needs, never giving them up. I am an empty promise, always meant to be forsaken. It’s a heavy burden I can’t bear anymore. I wish I was the prison bars my mother was kept behind, because maybe she could hold me, one last time. I ask the same question, but always get the same answer. I expect it to change if I wish hard enough, but is that not the difference between me and the sane?

They call me lazy, psychotic, never fully understanding. Their eyes are open, but are they really aware of what they are seeing? I am just a petal in the wind, not fighting those who drag me around their fake world. These deceivers will sew my lips closed, tie me in a bag, and drop me into the churning waters below, silencing me forever, but maybe then the demon within will finally be sated. If I look in the mirror and stare long enough, I can see the demon rising to the surface. Maybe they can too, or maybe they just don’t care anymore.

The demon hides in the scars on my skin and crawls around in my head. It tells me that they never really loved me, that I was never good enough, and it tells me to think I was was feeble-minded and naive, that she gave me up not out of love, but because I was another burden. Saying that she dumped me onto somebody else, that she couldn’t stand to look at me. Because I looked like my father. I have never heard his name uttered from her lips. I have no past to fill me with pride, nor a future where my older siblings scold me. A future I can look forward to. I am the youngest, but I think I have grown up before my time. And in the end, my intentions true, my life laid out before me, I pause. I have one last question.

Am I the situation that made me?

-Erin Kaufman