matryoshka

We marched, four of us, under a single half-moon eye, in a dry-ice October chill. We marched through a mapped maze of ten foot corn, over lumpy dirt in braided rows, turning ankles in the low light. I gazed up, straight up, beyond the tips of corn stalks, at Cassiopeia, her shape reflecting our zig-zagged path. I gazed up at the perfect moon. We laughed as we tromped, this familiar company, and I thought, my teenage self is so alive in this moment. My teenage self is alive and hidden in me. The one who hid within herself is hidden in me. We are Matryoshka dolls. The one who would be happy but nervous, too nervous to be present, too hidden to sing out as she stomped. She would be caught there in her mind, stiff and quiet and longing. Joy inside desire inside shame inside silence.

And what am I now? I am still these things, cocooned within new skin and a brighter smile, a surer voice. You still seem to hold some unseen key, beneath questions beneath wisdom beneath questions. Reader of maps, King Cepheus of this maze. I am still deferring to your guidance. We are ourselves, inside bodies marked by time and defeat and persistence. We are marching here in pursuit of whimsical nothing, under the unchanged moon.

© 2020 courtney lavender

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