Selby Perkins

when glass breaks

 

mostpeople couldn’t see inside you to know all the bloodred that was there. at daydark in the still you could hear the bloodred rushing in looprounds to nowhere, feel it bouncepress in your wrists overoveroverover hardtrying to freebreak. the bleachsnow ground sang mockheavy songs echoing the bloodred’s warmwhir. if mostpeople knew what was inside you they would talkforce you to byeleave.

 

when glass breaks, it is sharp. 

 

“you are sortfragile” mostpeople tell you, walking circlewide around you to certainmake you don’t snapshatter. you smilepretty them back when they hellosay you, and stillsettle into to a whisperhush existence where it nomatters if they lovesee you or not.

 

skinnyboy notwas a mostpeople though. skinnyboy talkedgentled you first to ask for howtogets to the meeting. you quickanswered him blushred because his eyes looked like the sort that could throughsee all the thoughtjumbles you felt himabout. skinnyboy asked you to homewalk him, asked you to beerbuy him, asked you to longlisten to him. skinnyboy asked too to longlisten to you. boys don’t longlisten to you, you want to backtell him. intead you silentsit and waitfidget for him to ask you “tell me your story.” he does.

 

you bravetell skinnyboy about the gonedays. his eyes straightsee to the bloodred mostpeople never noticed. you muscletighten for him to say byenastys but he holdstays instead, and wideopens his side just big enough for you to incrawl. inside skinnyboy your bloodred moves in looprounds all uppuddled with his. inside skinnyboy it notmatters that the gonedays were badbadbadbadbad. inside skinnyboy you forget something you used to lockknow:

 

when glass breaks, it is sharp.

 

the first longlisten feels safe till brightmorning callorders you to outcrawl skinnyboy’s side. daybright feels nakedheavy, feels velcrolonely, feels like maybe some of the bloodred you need to breathe is leftstill in his side all uppuddled with his, feels like foreign bloodred is making looprounds in your body—like maybe when you outcrawled you grabhanded some of skinnyboy with you. somehow after feeling the together, now more than before you feel the alone.

 

skinnyboy comes over next daydark. you longlisten to him and he incrawls your side. his and your bloodred uptangle inside yourselves and you wonder maybe if they will swirlcircle enough that soon his inside you won’t feel the foreign and you wont miss what you inleft him. days pass. the more you incrawl him and him you the more you both forget what you both used to lockknow:

 

when glass breaks, it is sharp.

 

in skinnyboy’s side your name feels like a EKG that youarehere youarehere youarehere and when he holds your body so tight you outbreath you know he’s just roomcarving for you to inbreathe more again. and in skinnyboy’s side when you inbreathe its him that you inbreathe and it tastes warmtea and smells smokescent. in skinnyboy’s side your secrets fly prettywhistle to his earssafe. in skinny boy’s side you notfeel sortfragile and feel instead touchable.

 

ticktocks pass and the incrawl gets trickytype to know if its you in him or him in you. ticktocks pass and you’re not sure if anymore you care. ticktocks pass and the hotfever on his head spreads to your head through the mixmuddle of his and your bloodred. ticktocks pass and the hotfever on your head travels loopround to his. ticktocks pass and your head feels like his head or maybe his like yours. mostpeople can’t tell you who is who is who. . . but you are starting to wondersmall if mostpeople even exist.

 

ticktocks pass and you remember sometimes what you once lockknew but don’t believe:

 

when glass breaks, it is sharp.

 

in skinnyboy’s side and yours too there is not room anymore for elseothers at all—and to formake their ears to hear you you’d have to awaybreak his and your mouth. in skinnyboy’s side and yours too you nothear mostpeople because his bloodred and yours runs looprounds through your and his ears, and the looprounds are noiseloud like the wooshbangwhirpop of runwater and honkhorks. in skinnyboy’s side and yours you are safe and you are safe. in skinnyboy’s side and yours it doesn’t matter the secrets that made you earlier sortfragile. in skinnyboy’s side and yours it’s too hard to see the how the more you loopround together the tighter on him and him on you you together both become.

(squeezesqueezesqueezesqueeze this is how we hold on)

 

and then one brightmorning skinnyboy holds too hard—or maybe it was you—and you learn the thing youinhe and heinyou had both forgotten:

 

when glass breaks, it is sharp.

 

the bloodred that plentypours out from his and your body isn’t his or yours—its newelse oopsmade in the upmix of his and yours, and you’re surenot if you’ve never seen it or maybe if it’s all you see. very loopround now the bloodred gushmoves in his and your body more bloodred leaks out from the spaces the shards poked out or oopsmade tearholes or splitopened too big, and when you try and outcrawl from skinnyboy’s side all your bloodred is there with him and you have to dryleave without it, and without your liver too. somehow when you outget from his side you realize your liver’s left in the his and your body, and that the his and your body isn’t his body or yours either.

 

and the youshards from the shattering—mostpeople were right, you’re sortfragile— outpierce the skin of skinnyboy from the inside and the himshards outpierce your skin too, and you are left and he is left and youandhe isn’t anywhere findable anymore.

 

 

you drippile up the youshards left, and the himshards upmixed in the youshards too, and you piece them back into a blanchbody.

 

mostpeople say you’re sortfragile. now this, though, more than that, is what you lockknow: you’re sortdangerous, sortthreat, sorthazard.

 

when glass breaks, it is sharp.

 

 

 

 

Selby Perkins is 23 years old and currently resides in Georgia, where she works at the Atlanta Dream Center helping men, women, and children find freedom and restoration from the cycles created by cultures of poverty and violence. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading books, learning new words, and talking to her five younger sisters.