I knew she wanted to shame me
when she asked about my greatest fear.
I first thought of a small cage, thick bars,
locked door, but I knew there had to be a key.
I then thought of a cell, thick bars, locked door,
and I knew the same was true.
A lock means a key,
a key creates opportunity,
an opportunity to escape
into a room inside a building,
a building with an exit.
The thought of an exit quells my fear
because there’s always a door or window
or hallway outlined in red in case of emergency,
like the flashing pulse of a lighthouse
where the windows are stained cherry
and sailors are lured to a safe harbor.
I then thought about a room with plain stone walls,
floor, and ceiling, seamless and dense, buried under the earth
deep enough to be warmed, but not cracked, by the magma.
A room suspended in time where I am trapped in solitude, in silence,
without any means of escape. No door. No lock. No key. No exit.
I thought about this space, and I said to her,
“To be trapped in an endless existence
without the ability to grow or heal, an existence
where my future is a repetition of my past, and
all of my injuries repeat until I am nothing
but the damage done to me.”