Coming Undone

Avielle Hippolyte

A little girl lives inside me / she has frizzy hair and crooked teeth / Her favorite color is red / and she can’t pronounce her R’s right / She knows the world is not bad / it is just bigger than her/ and with ease she finds space within it / She cries in front of other people and truly believes / that when they stare at her / it’s because they care / The little girl that lives inside me / is trusting / She hugs with her palms open and smiles at / strangers in their car when they / drive by / Every night she goes to bed by herself / so she can feel big / And every night she sneaks / into her grandmother’s bed / She goes to sleep to the sound of Peter Pan teaching her how / to never grow up / She takes things for granted because / she can / Everyone lets her too / Sometimes / when everyone is asleep /  we ask each other questions / I reach for her little hand and she reaches for mine / I ask her how she shines so bright / like fire in my hands / She asks me how I got so good at hiding / In her I hide / just for a little while / Just long enough to remind myself / that I was good / And she never / pushes me away /Everyday I try to make more / room for her /  Let her spread out /until / her hands and feet are just under / the surface of mine / This way / she can take control and I can rest myself until I am / truly awake. 

 

Lately / the little girl inside / has disappeared  / When I come home and unload myself onto my bedroom floor / I sift through my pieces / my brain / a sickly pink sponge / my heart / so small I lose it in between the carpet fibers / I try to find her here / I know this was the last place I left her / in the blood somewhere / But when I reach for her / she does not reach back / I am afraid I have driven away / my last touch of child-love / I refuse to let my youth leave me / alone /so until the little girl stops her game of hide and seek / I build myself a nest / out of fairytale books and the dead skin my grandmother left behind in her old bed / to make a place where I can soothe myself / trick myself / into dreaming / of a place far far away / where the little girl and I play together under a yellow sun / In the morning / the cold of a mean Autumn / bites my toes / until I wake / and in that moment / when I realize that my imagination has betrayed me again / that I am not playing in a field / I pry out my brain / the sickly pink sponge / and smash it under my pillow. 

Fall 2021