Honey Attracts Bears

Words

photo by Devon Loftus

Old pain feels like dried up blood. Crusted remains of something that was once alive. A stale smell, a sinking vortex. As dark as velvet and as all-encompassing as a migraine.

Sometimes I would get caught up in loops, unsure of where it started and ended. My mom would come out to tell me it was time for dinner. I’d tell her I was playing hopscotch, but all the while I was retracing my steps to figure out just when I chose to dismiss myself.

If I could just find the moment it started, I could go back and do it “right”.

Couldn’t I?

No. I chose against it. Their “right” looks like fear. Smeared lines on white walls. The smell of rot in the wind. Their “right” looks like it’s wrapped up in honey and smothered in shame. A temptress in the morning sun.

But I knew better.

My fingers would stay clean and that sticky residue I had fallen for time and time again would wash off.

My “right” was somewhere. Sometimes, I’d find fragments of it in moments that were mine but had been stolen. Frozen into the ground like a fossil.

But when I’d touch it, it’d be warm. And it would look like Halloween as a kid, staring down the street at the rows of houses as the chill of the fall engulfed me.

My right was in the air and in those candy bowls.

My right was in my mothers hand. My husbands laugh. My father’s cough.

My right was an invisibility cloak, flipping the middle finger and holding a peace sign simultaneously.

Honey attracts bears.

And I’m a wolf.

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