Distance

By J.A THEA, age 15

J.A. Thea
00:00 / 01:44

April was the month I moved in with my mother. I curled my breaking body into her bed and let the weight of synthetic down and wool hold me: smaller, smaller, smaller. I was no longer three or five or six years old but fifteen with long legs and a hunger for change. Triangles, the symbol of change. Pink triangles: an existence under someone else’s rules. But these rules, to stay in homes, to not touch

another human in the space outside our own doors, these rules are ours. We hold ourselves in brick boxes, our bones fragile in our fingers, like birds longing to fly away. To look out the window is a temptation I’d rather not risk so instead of seeing through red sheer curtains — temptress — I press further into foam mattress. If I were to shrink, here, skin wrapped around bones wrapped up in elephant-printed sheets so would every problem. Life moves in scale. My father – someplace — not here — the words in his emails, consonants and vowels, slicing into tender flesh, even from his location across the sea. And the shadow that has spread over the globe, claiming lives of old and young and those between,

that has swallowed the lights of businesses and banks, churches and town halls, places of community support. Would the shadow lose its vitality if the world itself were to become smaller, dwindling bubble becoming broken and bent in my mind? Or is it just moving further away? Things look smaller at a distance.

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