I miss the way we used to be. You and I, we could count on each other in our watertight dreamspace. The sharp corners on the outside, where they couldn’t reach us unless we wanted to prove how brave we were, how tough. We could withstand just about anything. We willed things to happen, and not to. Bruises came quickly and easily, and were gone in a day or two. Cuts were no big deal. We tasted the blood, sometimes: like licking a hot, salty penny. It didn’t matter. We went on. Always onward, two scrappy pirate girls. Too bossy. Too sensitive.
Too much. Two of us.
I miss us. We were indestructible, except by our own hand. The best drawing we ever did, torn up to hurt someone who’d hurt us. The breakfast that made us sick because we ate it in revenge, to prove a point. We shrank down, tried to be less: the retraction that comes before the impact. It was pointless. Tough as nails, nerves of steel, all grit.
But a door opened and we came in out of the cold. Who needs a watertight vessel on dry land? Who needs a prizefighter in a nursery? Your skills. My God, your skills. Sometimes I think I’m remembering wrong. Looking sternly at a thing about to fall, making it not fall. Staring at an adult until things happened the way they needed to happen. Glancing up to see exactly what we were looking for, actually drifting down from the ceiling. But those things, they happened. Because of you, they happened.
Pretend I’m kissing your forehead. You’re so much younger than me now. Pretend I’m rubbing your back and you’re drifting off to sleep. Everything is fine. You close your eyes and rest now.