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The fingertips of gravity

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I try to imagine another planet, another sun
Where I don't look like me
And everything I do matters

- Rickie Lee Jones: Gravity.

*

She listens. But no one is there. So she writes it down.

There used to be water here, once. Small waves kissing the stones, small waves sinking all these dreams down. Down to the bottom, she watched them go. The world turned upside down, and she doesn't know where they go when they drown. She doesn't know where she is anymore.

There are wounds that stir up the force of gravity. Down to the bottom. Upside down. And it doesn't make sense, but -- everyone has their own hell, their own shadow house. She does, too. But she can't be here. Not anymore. The dreams are not there. And so, she leaves. She has to.

For a short time, she lived among the silence and the dust. There was nothing left, nothing but all the lost years, all the unsaid words. She was alone. She was no one. But time went by. And slowly, she got up. And she sat down and she read. She learnt.

And she sees everything now. She knows.

And now, her belongings tell her something. Every morning, her teacup says yes, clockwise. And her necklace moves to the sides and then to the front. Slowly. Maybe it is learning how to tell the truth.

What will you tell me? What will you keep from me?

While she is packing her things, she finds an old deck of cards. She used to amuse herself with games sometimes, but now they mean something else. She lays them out, like she swears she saw somewhere before, and she knows. She knows.

(All these small things, they say something.)

And she listens. Again. She is quiet. But she won't be silent. Maybe she is upside down, like the world. But she needs to say something too. She is different now, and she needs to become someone else.

She gathers her things and her words and her tears. She goes.

And it's cold out there. But she still hopes.

*

Her hands are still steady. Her head is clear. And now she keeps a room in the attic, in this new village. It is small, it is almost empty, but it belongs to her. She is here now. And she belongs to no one.

She could be anywhere. But she found this place, and she is here. And her heart is sharp. Just a bit. Just in case.

The autumn starts, and she buys glass jars and dried herbs. The old woman downstairs teaches her how to tell the weather by the birds' flight. And she tells her about how it used to be before. I knew a little girl named Flora once, she says. Years ago. Maybe you are her. Maybe you are back. And Flora wants to say no. No, I am not. But she can't. She doesn't know for sure.

The woman talks about the magic. About the ladies. About that unspoken bond. And she asks. She knows.

Do you remember?

She doesn't speak. Instead, she watches the fire. She waits.

*

The world is full of magicians now. And the world knows her. It knows. It wants her to be someone, it wants her to know. Maybe this is the message. So she listens. And she hears it in the wind. It calls her name and it knows. Flora, who are you? Who are you?

Magic made her unhappy once. It gave her nothing but empty hands. But it was someone else's magic. It didn't belong to her. This one, though, this one does. It knows her reasons, it doesn't have to explain. It has her heart. And it matters.

Is she really here? Is she one of them as well? Does she belong? She raises her hands and they come alive and bring on the silence. She knows the answers.

To become the world, she becomes herself. Over and over, in another place. In a world of her own, right there, at the fingertips of gravity.

And the dark smoke stops. She forgets it is there, and that is how it fades. It brings on the night, it carries it close. It is a whisper of feathers. It knows the air, and it brings the magic close to her. Closer, it knows her, it tells the truth. Side to side. Onward. She walks, and she breathes in the air, she breathes in the magic. It is sharp but it is kind, it is right. It knows who she is. Her hands are cold, but her heart can be warm. Maybe. Maybe. And she is here, standing here, right where she is. She is here, she is finally someone.