I'm so caught. So caught in the in between.

I could swing here, tightly bound, forever. I could rally words and heartbeats that would never grasp the truth. I could color in the lines, careful to never touch the gray. I could breathe my shallow breaths. I could whisper instead of scream.

But when I do, I only get heavier. My ropes are fraying. My voice is growing hoarse. Panic is building. If I could I would scream. I would shake you until your blinders rattled enough to make some noise.

I would kiss the cold, giving up my last wisp of steam. I would slam against the bricks you've built between us, but would only break my own bones.

If I could change it with my willpower, we would be soaring by now.

If I could alter one aching sliver of abandonment maybe I could remember the moments of being enough.

But it's me who is frayed.

And I find myself building.

Like Nehemiah's men, a sword in one hand, a brick in the other.

I would have called this wall obtrusive once. I would have labeled it as a sign of my sickness.

But I was younger then. I was full of my own ideas and words that labeled everything. I didn't understand the silent, growing need for a boundary.

I get it now. I see the space for gates. I see what happens when a city is without walls.

And, like Nehemiah, I hear the voices of old enemies. I hear the snap of their judgment. I hear the ignorance of their anger.

If I don't build, I'll cave. I'll become like them.

I'll swing back and forth, quiet in the rubble.

Beauty in the ashes.

*October 2012