Your little girl is gone.
She wears silver necklaces that dance in the moonlight and choke upon her throat just as coldly.
She leaves the house with crimson painted on her lips and returns at 4 in the morning, with pools of dried blood between her bruised knuckles.
And she won’t eat dinner tonight –
because there are embers in her soul, burning low and deep, and when she loses her mind at midnight she tends to burn herself down with them.
Your mother is lost.
When you come home at 4 am, smelling of smoke and blood, she has fallen asleep on the couch – waiting for you. She never lets you see her cry. Never. You wonder sometimes if that’s why you do the same as well.
She speaks of fire.
The fire in her blood, the flame you saw ignite in her eyes when you sat on the kitchen counter and talked about life, about dreams that taste like ashes now.
A fire that might raze this house to the ground someday.
A blistering hellfire that can’t be put out.
Your father ran away.
The world fed him honeyed lies, it spoke tales woven of sunlight and everything golden. But daggers of ice float in his veins, frozen so cold; you might get burnt at the touch of his fingertips.
He held his breath and tried to brave it all.
The chains he was born in. The shackles that he earned.
A wife who breathed fire.
A daughter born of inferno and glaciers.
A house of haunted little corners and silent dinners.
He’s still here, sitting in his chair by the window, reading the paper. You can see him with your eyes closed. But if you tried to search for him, to call out his name into the echoes of his empty room, he wouldn’t look up.
If you looked for him, you wouldn’t find him.
So here’s to all our lives.
Here’s to the crimson scars and bloodshot eyes.
To the art of rushing to the bathroom with tears spilling down your face so that no one sees you break down.
To the gift of pain we have all given and received.
To questioning the sanity of it all.
To the skies that have fallen.
And to us, who still stand.