The wheel of the year started with me in the sleeping death that is ashen winter snow.
Everything that had been there had burned away; only charred remnants were left in the dead sea of what was.
There were the lost days, to which there are too few memories
For such an interminable span of my life.
I remember killing time.
Staring at a wooden floor.
A grey sweater hung on me like lead.
Weight on my chest, no strength left to draw breath.
The electric clamor was too much for me, but I could not muster the strength
To pick up
That is everything I can recall before the thaw.
Everything I can recall of those days when I ceased to be a burning star and became ash.
I could not feel anything, and for the first time
I understood total emptiness
And I saw that I was an unfathomably small and pointless being in the torrent of life.
I asked my God to let me die.
Those above me were afraid. They saw my soul melting out of my body.
The meeting was arranged, but there was a shortage. I was not seen for many weeks.
So many needles tear my flesh, searching, probing for the poison that robs me of life.
They give me little green seeds
that shimmered with the first grain of life in many months.
Tender leaves poke through crust, and again I breathe anew.
I fall into pixels; they fade into stars. I no longer sleep.
I watch the full rotation of the clock’s hands, and nightly I bathe in darkness.
Many phone calls. Paperwork, forms, names, addresses, signatures, stamps.
I am to be free.
At last, it is about to begin - the journey for which I have been preparing
from the day they taught us our names.
I reach, reach on past the horizon, and I touch the past and the future at once.
I am different than I expected.
My journey to the north is difficult.
At its end, I find bitter tears springing forth of their own volition. Without permission.
I am embarrassed and relieved at my ability to feel such sorrow;
It is blood from a stone.
I venture into the Sun lands.
I meet boys, and for the first time, the meeting is not one-sided.
They are different, or I am – for they see a young woman and not an abomination.
I am joyous to see my life is beginning.
In time, one of them stands out; he is gentler, and he is good. I have been hurt many times, but he is different. Honorable.
We are healers and shields unto each other.
He does not shy away from the scars which lace my body.
But those above me warn of poison honey, stringing my mind with doubt and fear.
And then I fall to the south.
Again I fall to ash of winter. My mind crumbles. I hear it tearing at the seams. The star that burns within me is banked.
I am searching for it. I know it is close.
I will have that fire again.