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Bedtime Stories: Series Set #1 | Mechanisms - "Hook, Line and Sinker"

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A collection of essays on media, pop culture, art analysis, relationships and femininity. Basically, subjects of interest to the Thoughtful Woman navigating a sometimes uncomfortable existence in the Modern World. 

Bedtime Stories: Series Set #1 | Mechanisms - "Hook, Line and Sinker"

Lana C. Marilyn

I've been very bad about releasing the remaining poems from the Mechanisms series, but here's a new one! I was a bit nervous to share it for a while, but I feel very okay with it as is and am ready to publish it for others to hear :)

First, I get on the train. Then I frown at the fish in the fishbowl. 

It doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I think this moment is bigger than us. The air stands still. There’s a broken abandoned chair sitting at the end of a train platform that no one walks on anymore. the exit the stairs used to lead up to have been sealed off, and there are no lights overhead on that side. a multicolor bouquet of balloons peaks out from the top of a tall, black garbage can. the conductor announces another delay. train traffic ahead. there’s always traffic and never any trains. 

I think this moment is bigger than us. 

You think I’m indecisive. 
    You think the problem is that maybe I don’t know what I want. 

i weep for the fish in the fishbowl. back and forth. back and forth. and again and again and again.

It comes to me in glimpses: an instance where I feel whole. when I feel loved. my heart soars and I don’t feel compelled to chain it to the ground. I am here. I am here and I want to be here and it feels good to be home. I open my mouth to speak and I recognize the sound of my own voice. My shadow looks on with encouraging eyes. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum. 

So it’s not that I’m indecisive. It’s just that...I need more time. 

“but they aren’t sad,
the fish aren’t sad at all,
they are fine as they are because all they’ve ever wanted
is a space of their own to keep and protect.”

And the problem, for the record? Is that maybe you don’t love me like you think you do. You try, I know you try, but it hurts after. It bleeds after. It falls apart, and I try my best to keep up with you so that you can’t tell I’m drowning but there’s train traffic ahead. all that traffic, all those empty stations, all those stationary hearts and balloons in the trash. But never any trainss.

And the air stands still. And I frown at the fishbowl. 

i get on.
i get off.
the doors open.
the doors close.

you ask me, where’ve you been? 
i say, here.
away. 
going.

learning now that sleep is a destination, that empathy is a walkway, that sadness is a bridge.

“and did you cross over it?”

I did not. I paused to
recollect the water catching under it. and noticed then
the fish, gasping for air.

(the fish will die in the fishbowl.
they will never think to weep
for me.)