What if nothing’s wrong?
What if the anxiety that keeps me haunting the house past midnight derives from the fact that I cannot perceive the pattern of galaxies unfolding?
What if those things I most deeply yearn for—pillow of respite, wreath of regard—are but the seeds of my undoing?
What if my disappointment is ill founded?
What if my worry distracts me from noticing the color of light at sunset? What if my life depends on studying that twilight hue? What if my life depends on my careful attention to the changing blush of sky and water as the sun descends into the river? What if there is nothing more to celebrate than this?
What if the world’s not broken? What if I’ve spent my whole life trying to repair the birds and they don’t need fixing? What if I’ve neglected to press my face into the soft down of their bellies and feel their heartbeat against my cheek, or learn the language of their song? What if I’ve forgotten my wings, or simply failed to comprehend the wonder of flight?
What if I have cursed shadow without acknowledging its cool reprieve? What if I have cloaked myself in shade because I feared the unapologetic rapture of sun’s light?
What if I have kept myself chaste when we were made to revel in the garden of senses?
What if discontent is merely habit and lack of imagination?
What if it’s not personal? What if I’ve been wasting my time in careful excavation of the past, sifting teaspoons of dust?
What if pain is nothing but a thought form? What if I told myself a different story? That the stars exploding in my temples are in fact the birth of a new solar system? That the ache in my lungs comes from the deep inhalation of moist, cottony clouds? That the shattering I’ve felt in my heart is no different than that of the chick exploding the confines of its shell?
What if the swollen bowl of sorrows shattered at my feet? For which steaming woes would I find myself lonesome?
Would I sweep the shards and try to piece them back together? Or would I turn instead, ladle myself a platter of delight?
Would I adopt a diet of petals and grasses? Would I teach myself, finally, to sing?