An image of family

An image of hamster babies waddling out into the light, blind and naked. Nervously, their parents rush around. Their obvious cluelessness is made irrelevant by the relative stability of the world they grew into. Things will be okay. We are already here. We are already moving. All hamsters die young and yet, they don’t even need to understand death.

The sound of heels on concrete. Tok tok, tok tok, tok tok. My mother has two legs and she’s letting the ground know it. Where are we going? We don’t know, we don’t need to know. A cloud moves across the land looking for a place to shed its feathers. It doesn’t know where it is going, but it is moving. We are moving, too. Tok tok, tok tok, tok tok. The drumming centers us. We are here where the concrete is, where trees line the street, where the unnamed birds are and some named birds, too, where cars go to sleep and wake up quietly with tired eyes. Our legs are so short that we can run without getting lost. We are slow enough to feel fast. We are moving. We don’t even need to know where we are going.

The touch of a smooth glass surface under my fingers. As the memory of their faces continues to fade, the record of old letters provides a fixed but harsh and incomplete window into what happened. A cold light reveals the ugly shapes of shattered bits and pieces. I am tempted to add a new piece that I’ve carved. The shapes have become softer over time. This one is almost beautiful. I touch the ground and cry a little. What I am touching is an image I’ve created for myself. I used to think there is so much I want to say to them, but now I think of that as a misunderstanding and a false hope. They will never see me and they can’t. My legs have grown and I never stopped running. I know where I am.

The twinkling of the evening sunlight around an infinite number of intricate edges in a see of unnamed plants surrounding me. As I see them spread out all around me, something tells me that everything is already there. There is nowhere to go. There is just all of this and there is me and I am a part of it. I breathe in and out, a slow and soft rhythm so unlike the sound of the heels I remember. The separation I feel is an intentional image that I preserve by choice. I want to be sad, at least for the moment.

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