Fear

My fear lives in the lining of a skin that I shed long ago. It crept in under the cover of darkness and camouflaged itself down to every freckle and every hair until it covered me completely and when I woke I could not tell where it stopped and I began.

My fear is a dark-eyed demon whispering pretty words with one hand between my thighs and the other with my hair entangled in its fingers while it purrs seductively that I can be anything I want as long as I let it have control.

That without it I am nothing.

My fear lives between microseconds that my heart stops and between those spaces – I can live a lifetime.
The spaces between I can choose to surrender to darkness or make a conscious push towards the light. There were days that I thought I would choose to stay in the darkness.

My fear goes by many names such as “What if” “What then” “I’m not” “He said” “I’ll never.” “I can’t.”
It is in every blank page unwritten on, every note never sung, every word I dared not speak, every dance I never took, every cliff I didn’t jump from, every branch I didn’t walk along, every road I didn’t take, every hand I never took, every caution I held onto instead of throwing it to the wind, every wrong I didn’t right.

I once got into a car with fear and drove all night across vast bridges and oceans while staring at an upside down moon, down a road to my own undoing.

Every sin I couldn’t redeem, every sin I couldn’t forgive myself for, every stifled word, every story I created in my head, every vulnerability I suffered alone, every smiling reflection, every prayer of gratitude I choose not to utter, hidden in the silk lining of my ego.