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When You Get There

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When you get there, it will not look like healing. There—where exactly is that? There—where are we going? There, she says, as if it exists on a map. This way to incest healing. Rape goes away this exit. There, as in, to the place of new Earth. You have never been here before, away from the evil of your so-called elders, untangled from the black-widow-spun-incest-web. This is healing. It is barren at first. You will look out over the land and think to yourself, why am I here, where there is nothing? It hurts. It is scary. You will feel alone. Maybe you will feel nothing as you approach the precipice. You will jump, free falling. You must jump, girl. Jump into that nothingness you see, feel, and hear. 

Nothing. Upon landing, you will turn around and see the demons retreat. You will be free. Lonely, yes, aching, yes, but free. Yes, free of lies, of intergenerational poison. Free of Daddy, with his raping heart, Mother, who took flight, others who deemed you unseen, unheard. But this is not nothing, this unexplored place. There is you. You are never nothing. 

But when you get there, it can feel and look like nothing. You may want to run into the past, cling back to the old tree vines, rotten and slick as they are, for fear of this seemingly barren nothingness. 

But, if you listen deep and hard and still, you will hear it, you will feel it. Something …

You are a human seed. You are life springing anew. You are the reason. At first this uncharted territory is blindingly lonely; you look for Proust’s new eyes to guide you, Maya’s strength to rise, Alice’s purple fields to speak to you. Where is everything? You are the first woman. You are the roots, the branches, the trunk, the rings within the body, the sap, the bark armor. 

At first, it looks like fucking Chernobyl, so vastly damaged. But your eyes become newer all the time, your strength rises toward the sun daily, and in the long, slow future, purple blossoms. Life herself is what you are. 

Grow your new tree. Your soil is beautiful, your seedlings whole, babies bursting into Earth like light through a prism, all miraculous color and light and reflective. You are a pioneer, Woman; you have led yourself through a quaking terror so sharp and piercing most would have given up, given in, gone along, saying, “There is no other pill to take, so I swallow the one that made me ill.” But not you, for you are life herself. You are never nothing. The trees know this, as do your children and spirits yet to be your children. The light kissed dawn knows this—you are surely something, surely within you a teeming garden awaits germination, the robust, fully grown oak tree within the acorn. There, that’s where “there” it is. There lives in you. That child inside of you, the one you were, sacred and innocent, curious and free, there is the place you are going. And you will know the wonder of it all when you get there.

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