She went through her life
Sure, people knew her name,
and could probably tell you what car she drove,
what teams she liked (the Eagles)
and her favorite band (also the Eagles).
But it was a rough sketch;
a granular copy roughly hewn in sand.
Even her husband of many years
had never asked
why she parted her hair on the left
even though it clearly wanted to part on the right
(to hide a scar,
long since healed,
from that time her brother
threw a Matchbox car at her head).
She used to feel saddened
that no one would ever peer deep
into her bottomless ribcage
and kiss her leviathans
and pet her behemoths
and tuck her clockwork goblins in at night.
So she took on that responsibility for herself.
Her life played out in full technicolor
by a select audience
Sometimes in her a quiet moment,
her breath fogging circles on the mirror
as she carefully brushed each lash
with gooey black paint,
she’d be staring into her eye
and her inner beauty
would take her breath away.
But in that exact same moment,
grief would tumble in
for how only she cared to see
the rainforest catacombs
teeming with life inside her.
And only she bore witness
to the beauty of her life.
Like that time she told that joke
and no one heard her except that one guy
who didn’t laugh and looked at her weird.
It was a damn good joke.
A goddamn funny joke.
She’s a funny lady,
even if only she gets it sometimes.
She still cracks herself up with that joke.
Or that time she woke up with a whole song
playing in her head.
It had horns, and piano,
and that thumping tuba bass line.
Most amazing music she’d ever heard.
It stayed with her right through breakfast
til she heard something on the radio
and it went away.
It was a great song,
and no one will ever hear it but her.
Another time she went out for a swim alone
and the seagulls were resting like magnolias on a mirror,
and as she entered the water they parted to surround her
and she cried because it was so beautiful.
“You are kind,” they said silently in unison.
Well, not really. But sorta kinda in her mind they did.
Yeah, that was pure beauty,
and no one else saw it.
But she did.
It danced in her eyes and planted a bauble
in some sacred space
where it will remain forever.
Every person you ever see
walking down the street
has a whole universe inside of them
that no one else will probably ever
get to explore.
Twisting spire cities and thunder castles,
marble minarets and silver sand beaches,
pastel dragons with eyestalk heads,
firefly forests guarding sleeping wheel angels,
whole archives filed by worm-toothed gnomes
of memories and moments
only witnessed on their lonesome.
She is a lifetime of movies
that only she ever gets to watch.
A cup of tea, a set of hands,
steam curling into shapes that only she will ever see,
her tongue running along the grooves of her teeth
in a way that only she will ever feel.
Her own little universe unto herself
witnessed by one.
“Isn’t it crazy,”
she thinks to herself
while balancing on one foot
for no particular reason,
“that nature goes to all this trouble
for just one set of eyes?”
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