I am so…delicate.
Twenty-one-year-old women do not often find themselves feeling life leave their bodies. But here I am, feeling somehow thin and dense all at once, sinking into hospital sheets like lead. The grayness of the day stays with me, the silver-scale of all the colors. It is not raining, and I can see Summerville through the fog.
I’m so tired. Am I coming, God?
Losing blood has a name. It is so long and ominous that hearing its mention tells of the mysteries with it. I cannot even spell what ails my body. All I know is my corporeal being is warring with itself in the most literal of senses. No, my spleen is not moving throughout my body, but it is a destroyer. Senseless with anxiety, it attacks the good and the bad in my blood. But it is unable to cease, so it keeps on going, insisting cheetah is the latest and greatest look for my skin. Toilet bowls become vampiric chalices, showers a team effort.
Promise to love me when I come. I am not afraid.
I am braver now than any other moment. Silence is not my enemy, for it is filled with the proverbial elephant presence as I lay. I might be clothed, but I am naked before God and man with mortality. But I am not filled with questions. I await to be asked. Staying and going is not my prerogative, only if I will remain. And the prosecution is ready to rest.
My life belongs to you. Use me.
The moment passes. The stream that was leaving me slows its march. In the solitude of the room, I know sleep will not lead me away. Tomorrow will be my next step. Life holds no account for its future path, but divinity reaches toward me in love. I will value that generosity.
Name: S.A. Borders-Shoemaker
Author Bio: S.A. Borders-Shoemaker is a PhD Candidate at George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis & Resolution.This piece is set during her hospitalization in 2011 when she was diagnosed with ITP. She has two published poems, “For Keats” and ”The Law of Thermodynamics,” as well as two other articles at Harness Magazine, “To My Body” and “My Janes Who Fought Dragons.” She also has a number of op-eds and academic essays published.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @sabordersshoemaker