Blacked Out Part 9: Nique’s Nestled Nipper

Measured placement of hangers,  polished frames, DIY cubby shelving, shrine of succulents.
Mantra for my maturescence.

Responsibilities handled, no surface left unscrubbed.
Wipe and wax. Hands raw so the walls can glisten.
Lingering scent of Clorox wipes wedged into the wrinkles of my fingers.
Perfection. That’s Adulthood.

Pillows saved my whispered doubts,
Expanded and fluffed with the ctrl+s, a litany of:

Worthy? Feel fulfilled? Why can’t I?
Paralyzed by the blue fire just ignited, failure heating up.

Hiding in bed, breathing in the stale must seeped in my comforter, eyes terrified of opening, peering at reality:
Confined by the rigidness, measured placement of trinkets, sliding along sheets of ice that hug my deficiency.

The subzero, stark, blinding deterioration. Eyes rapidly blink and squeeze shut. Not today.

Returned again:
Its nose pushes against curve of my back,
Nestles into the cellulite.
Nips away at the finger wrinkles, swims and jumps around the pattern of my blanket, crawls up the ivy thread. Slinkily peels back an edge, smiles at my curled form.

Wake. Rise. Its tail thumps against my chest.
Taunting or an invitation?

This dolphin wants to explore, to flip and fall, squeak and snort out a giggle, squawking unabashedly. Sink to float back up.

Rejection butterfly strokes into scorn, high dives into the raw innocence of curiosity: inner child is crawling out to play.

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