The Wax Castle

Originally published March 12, 2014

February’s theme is integration. 

I have a hard time taking the things I know to be true and making them a part of myself. I think a lot of people have this problem too. I have been told “You’re smart,” or “You haven’t gained that much weight, really,” or “You’re a good person,” or “It’s not your fault,” and I suppose them to be true. The scientific, specific evidence is in their favor. You could make charts and graphs or repeat them a hundred times. There could be a PowerPoint presentation. 

It’s not that I outright disagree or even not believe them….But some days, I have a hard time making it feel true.




The turrets came out in one solid piece 

each from our ears

like candles from a birthday cake.

They had numbers too.


The rest–the drawbridge, the walls, the keep–

were harder, hammering flakes

into putty, then into brick, 

after pliers breaking open, 

digging with fingers and arms

for long-ago sounds.


And further back, we needed a jack,

the kind you use to change tires,

to yank our heads wide open

for wax formed against brain

from when we first heard

our own crying.


Our heads split open, teeth jutted out

in jaws like rocks.

Spelunking gave us the bends.

We had hoped what we heard would keep us safe.