By Mia Altamuro
My shadow is dark and heavy,
glued to the ground below me
like a depressed girl laying in bed
staring up at the ceiling
with her eyes burning.
It's the whispers that halt
once they manifest into a real girl
made of bones and flesh,
who kept a secret for a whole town to bare.
A girl who carries on the ghosts
staring from the corner of a mirror
broken into pieces that each reflect their own light
and reveal their own life
of what you could have been.
A life who took you by surprise.
A crack of thunder, thief in the night,
the kind of thing that happens
when the graves come to rise.
When companion and stranger switch places
and what you wanted is struck down with a divine hand,
there is trying to put together the pieces of the mirror
to fit inside the holes that ghosts have left
inside your spirit.
It is chaos, it is pain
like the Armageddon they say
is on its way,
all the same
that too is a plan
just not the one you have made.
Maybe the mirror holds another reflection
of the girl who ran away
broken, more than bruised,
she is one step above angry;
the kind that will not mold you,
but will fold you.
At what point on our damaged path
do we look back
and see all the glass pieces
as bittersweet, and not misery.
At what point
do you surrender your anger
and lay down your burden,
to throw your hands up
and say that, yes, you forgive
and you see
the broken pieces are still a part of me
to feel the weight of heaven come down
and take the weight of hell off of your shoulders?
The shadow who I can barely see,
but so strongly believe
is hurting and yearning
for the life that happens to be mine,
that the weight has always, in the end,
eased off of my shoulders
not because they became less heavy
but because I learned how to carry
and knowing how the shadow
was only ever telling me
there is light ahead
if I just stop looking back.