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I Am Santo

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Soft Edges

She was a million shards of glass splintered across an endless stretch of ground where no two pieces could find their mate without crossing an impossible gulf. Without a center, she’d spun off from everything as if gravity had no providence over her spirit. Floating away, lost to the stars and black, she didn’t understand how to piece herself together, never mind how to connect with another soul not cast off into the night as she had been, for there was no known glue to bring her home.

So they invented one, fabricated it out of assumption and suggestion and built a false tether back to the core of this cracked Earth where each face around her smiled easily without the needed extra pull her own lips required. And she maintained as best she could among their logical motivations and their passions which knocked around her insides as shapes with no edges. There was no pain when she drowned in an undertow of disappointment nor did it sting much when she was impaled on the careless assessments of those meant to act as her guides. For though they stumbled, it was she who shouldered the blame like an ass, lost in an unforgiving desert, would an immeasurably heavy load that threatened to crush bone and tear sinew.

Under these expectations, unmuted, she would lash out and destroy favorite gardens, color on walls, break the legs off every table and chase the dog into a dark closet with matches. Or so must have been the worry for why else would they have sent her to breathe deep under the salty surface shimmering in the eye scarring-kisses of a frozen sun? Forsaken, she bled until hands shook as if under constant trauma, skin drawn pale and eyes – rounded with unmistakable sorrow – lost their color, faded to gray and watched the indifferent days spill before her as if on a wheel spun fast by Godless hands.

Her feelings, ferns hidden amongst a dense forest of evergreens. Her tremble, real and unrelenting, a quake in fingers set to task on steady endeavor, sharp edges handled with as much delicacy as could be summoned under the cracked facade of a good daughter. Never given a chance to stand with the ground hugging at her feet in constant assurance, she floats over the rest even as she forces her steps to model those of her few friends, her shiftless lovers, and the lineage that forced her among the rolling heavens where she’s best suited not to fly away, but instead to embrace the infinite blue surrounding her and play as an angel; directing tiny tethered souls begging for guidance she never knew.

In the moment of this transformation, her heart breaks, flooding the doubtful with salty runoff and giving youth a center she’s lacked but pieces together with every smile.

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