Creative Corner: The Girl in the Window
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The Girl in the Window
I am the black-haired Rapunzel, ringed fingers bleeding the smeared shape of desperation onto my window in the evenings, carving the want behind my teeth into the arch of the bedframe: “strangers,” “stones in my shoes,” “places besides here.” In daylight I am trapped in the scent of mullien leaf and mugwort on the doorframe, in horehound dripping from the eaves, in the feeling of my mother’s hummingbird fingers on the column of my throat as she binds me with beads and apache tears. She slid mistletoe down the front of my dress the first time we went out into the garden and it stuck to my inner thigh when I tried to run, getting as far as the front gate before she caught me.
On cold nights she whispers to me that my fate is as dark as my hair; that the lines on my palm speak black and love will be slipped to me in a pouch of poison, melted into a brew thick as bitterness. I tell her I believe her, but on days when the fog is sucked back into the soil I devour the passersby with the one eye that is not covered by my hair, coating my tongue in their sun-sweetened skin, their laughter, the lines at the corners of their mouths. I envy them, even their pain, for the only pain I have ever known comes from the chill of my mother’s absence, from the prickling feeling your skin gets when you’ve never felt rain.