Thursday, April 27, 2006

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The children's museum in the town where I grew up had a touch tunnel, a convoluted carpeted pitch black vault navigable only by fingertips. I hated the point where the ground disappeared, where a cautious hand outstretched reached nothing but open air, where a not-so cautious knee slid, burning, over the edge. Without any visual cues there was no way to catch myself, to keep from falling in the hole. Each time I emerged it was bruised and shaken, no longer confident in the buoyancy of my bones.

I worry over what we are ruining, whether things will ever grow back up in our footsteps, whether we leave poison behind. If I could I would build you a city from pirate's gold and cotton candy, keep you there safe and far away from anyone who might want to slide under you and take what doesn't belong to them. I want to put marks on our foreheads so that all who pass know that we breathe only metaphors, that our fingerprints might burst into flame, that we will give those who might trespass copies of T.S. Eliot poems and soft kisses.

Sometimes I think that the only way to feel like I'm filling up my skin is to paste myself inside, to spread what's there thin like a too-small serving of jam on the last piece of toast. If I could force myself out to my edges and fix myself there, some problems may find themselves solved.

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