Benign

Depression snapped its metal jaws, spring loaded from the moment I picked up the phone, the catch releasing when I closed the door.

Coffee and words were served, passed around as easy as an old story. Nothing important shared or shed. An intimate easy. Easy as letting go.

Because, I can. Let go. Of good and bad. Rapture and malignant darkness can be told to step aside so that I take command. I do it all the time, no longer a manuver, but a habit.

But, I swear I left footprints that burned through the concrete with each confident step to my car.

I’m too skilled at breathing my poison until my heart hums rather than steps.

I am too adept at eyeballing my pet panther, recognizing in its stare the last flash of strategic restraint as it dulls just before the strike.

I am so familiar with this tripwire that I can bend a note by plucking it.

I knew it was happening. And, I expected it, though I couldn’t blockade it, smother it, or quarantine it. I allowed escape. A jail break. Fast, flight away from me that left me unchanged and, yet, holding a rail in a fist like a spear. Still, an enemy known is an enemy seen.

I was full of breath, hearty and heavy. Mass collected to me, and I imagined how the weight seeks the light in balance. I imagined myself dense, slow, and yet alive with potential energy.

An iron stove, a furnace, a kiln.

I am walking across. Atop, over, around, and through. Though it calls in voices caught in the turbulence above me and sledges away at my bones from below, up through my shins, finds my spine, and spins my eyes slowly like bearings in their sockets, I move. I am magnitudes larger than this now.

I have been for awhile. Proud. Irreverent. Wise to this, and to its host of cousins, dressed as envy, worry, and judgement.

Earlier each time, it would seem too soon for the cartoon turned flesh, my feet again start floating, hovering over an imaginary pyre in whose flames I would have bathed, had I yielded, had I remembered that I deserved to fall into the trap I placed when I was a child.

I haven’t forgotten how to ensnare me, just how to want to.

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