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Featured Submission

February 7, 2013

Telling a Story, Sans Eye Contact

By Rachel Cali (Contributing Writer)

“I speak because I am shattered.” – Louise Gluck

I write because I am voiceless. I write to have a voice. I write because I do not believe in words. Because I don’t believe in the symbols on a page. I write because I do. Because the scrawling lines build a better home than my own. Because it is a tangible expression. I write to be tangible. I write because I am not the only person to have emotions.  I write because I confuse feelings for hopes. I write because I am out of hope. I write tired. In the middle of the night. To imprint the movement of the moon on a page, the night of ink onto the sides of my fingers. I write to make marks. I write to remember. I write to forget. I write to feel like I exist. I write into other people, like erosion over time.  I write because I breathe. Because I watch. Because I listen. Because I taste. Because I smell. I write because I was not planned, an extra, made of all the bad parts of one whole. I write because I am alive. I write because I tried to hang myself in birth.

I write because I am one person and many people all at once. I write to understand. I write because I do not believe in understanding. I write because no one’s neurons are lined up identically. I write with ink, into paper, with a needle into my skin, with electric shocks between synapses. With a stake and stone into the caves of my mind. I write repetitive nicotine and caffeine cocktails into my bones. I write the shapes of stars and freckles into calligraphy, into my own language of shapes. I write smoke signals into the air of dawn and midnight. I write my name into the sand of the shore to watch it wash away. I write to wash away.

I write because I read. I write for the escape of the voices in my mind. I write because paper has no eyes. I write because it is the voice of those wishing to tell a story, but not make eye contact in doing so.

I write because I know I am going to die. I write because I am scared of the darkness that comes with death. I write because I do not believe in heaven. I write because earth may be hell. I write because my grandmother is dead. I write to say good bye. Because I couldn’t call to say good bye. I write about the way her hands bruised from all the people touching and praying for her salvation. I write for the stillness of a funeral home. For the irony of lifesavers being given out at calling hours. I write to the dead, the living, souls I will never know. I write about souls I will never know. I write to the shadows that creep through the corners of my eyes. To ghosts who can’t let go. I write my love and sorrow and heartbeat into the lips and skin of people as lost as me. I write about the boys and girls I think I could love. I write wanting. I write to be requited. I write because I have had my heart broken. Because I am bad at loving myself and loneliness.

I write because I am embarrassed. I write because I do not know what to do with my hands.  I write things I will not say out loud. I write because my throat is too large of a cathedral to speak in. I write because I have dreams, I write more because I have nightmares. I write because I scare people. Because I shove people away. I write for the people who know that and stick around in spite of it. I write because I miss him. Because I miss her. Because my home never felt like home the way their arms did.

I write for all the pieces of me I have lost and have yet to find. I write because I am shattered.

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