There is a crater just a few feet inside (me), and it’s quite deep. Plenty of people have similar craters but they don’t talk about them. I wonder sometimes how other people got theirs and if they’ve chosen to risk falling in sometimes, or if they’ve simply built walls to stay safe. Sometimes you can tell just by looking at a person’s face, and sometimes you can’t. I wonder how these other craters look, how they smell, whether the light gets in or not. Stone walls. Sunlight. Jagged edges. Down comforters stuffed into the cracks. We all choose what to keep inside. What we need. What we’re drawn to.
I’ve shared some of my story. You can guess where my crater began. You would be partly right; I’m sure of it. But do you know how it’s decorated? Do you know how it feels to lie down inside?
Some of you are literal, waiting for a narrative, the story which holds all this together. You won’t find one, and yet a poet’s path may bring you closer to the truth.
I used to break apart the things around me I most adored. I broke them into tiny bits, inspecting each bit from many angles, seeking flaws. I always found them. “Deconstructing the house,” I called it, searching the debris for anything dangerous or sweet, fondling both, chucking them into the crater with equanimity. Maybe I was trying to raise the floor inside so my next fall wouldn’t go so deep. It never really worked. I deconstructed all kinds of houses and eventually, I just moved away from home.
I don’t take apart houses now. My partner’s a real estate agent, but that’s not why. My home is sacred now, flaws and all. I think it’s just age, or maturity (I do have a little of that), or maybe I’ve learned from experience, although I suppose these are all the same thing. But sometimes in the winter, when boundaries crack open and chaos blows by on the outside, I find myself dangerously close to the edge, itching to throw something in, and I wish in those moments that I’d chosen stone walls instead of soft blankets, something to fortify me, something to provide shelter (yes, I know it’s a song) from the storm.