'I Will Fly Away' by Jina Wallwork
I stay by her side. She complains about life and she finds fault with the relationship. Her smile only ever appears for a moment and I consider all the ways I could invite its return. I listen for clues of how to create a smile. I wonder if it is deep within her and I hope to summon it into the world. I question what it takes to make her happy, while admitting that I don't hold the answer. Whenever I make a mistake she reveals her wings, but she does not fly away. She stretches them out, while her words describe her flight. She does not need me. I feel as though I have a full picture of all that I am not. I know every inadequacy and limitation. She has a clear vision of how she wants things to be and I feel incapable of fulfilling her requirements. I try everything to please her, the smile never lasts. I am always a conversation away from seeing her wings. I constantly fool myself into believing that my next attempt will make her happy but it never does. I question if she knows what happiness is. She seems to constantly ask for the temporary fix.
She is showing me her wings again. I can see them clearly and they are beautiful. Every feather is in place. I imagine their soft touch as she brushes past me, yet still she does not fly away. She is looking beyond me. She looks deep into the distance and with a superficial glance she gazes at the life she desires. I don't know how I am still in this relationship. She is distant, yet she does not fly away. I try to change this circumstance into the life that she desires. Each attempt is accompanied by our mutual dissatisfaction. I do not know how to please her; she is always looking beyond me.
I am coming to believe less of myself. Every moment we are together is a reminder that I am not desired. When I place each kiss I know that it touches only her skin. She will take my kisses but she does not prize them. I wonder how many people she would prefer to be with; how far down the list is my name. Is it just because I am here and nothing more?
I look at myself in the mirror and I ask myself what I need to change. I stand there crying and naked. For a moment I see myself through her gaze and I am filled with sorrow. There are so many things I cannot change. There is so much that she does not love. I do not want to see myself through her eyes. Am I to believe that I am nothing? I look deep into my heart and I know that I am more than she believes me to be. Her heart is empty and it clouds her vision. I have tried so hard to fill it with my presence, but still I cannot see myself within it. I cannot find the entrance and I have made the attempt time and time again. This mirror betrays me it does not reveal all I have given and all that I have loved. I feel tired and defeated. I am crippled by the strength of her perception, I sometimes believe it to be true. I ask myself if I am worthless and with each kiss, it is her who answers the question. She does not have to say a word; I know that she does not think of me when she closes her eyes.
I begin to ask myself why I stay. As I ask the question, feathers begin to form behind me. I can only stay if I accept how she views me. I would need to believe that I am not enough. I watch my wings as they take form. I look at them in the mirror, as I stretch them out wide. I will not constantly show them to you. I am not asking you to change because I accept you as you are. I decide to take flight and I do. As you see me in the distance, do not imagine me to be anything other than I am.