(what if) the pain went away?
by ariana sexton-hughes

and, what if…
what if,
the pain went way?
for more than a moment?
for more than a day?
really.
what if,
the pain went away?
completely,
in total,
…purged from my being?

would i dance?
would i fly?
would i write ‘til i cry?
would i hold a friend close?

would i do more than boast?
would i flirt with another?
would i cuddle?

or, purrrrr?
would i… perhaps… take a lover?

or…

even… another?

or…
would i remain, cold and aloof,
buried, ever so deeply,
under my layers…

and layers…

and layers of duvets and blankets and comforters and… covers?
swaddled in leggings and sweats and pjs and socks,
cowering in darkness,
afraid to emerge from my almost-warm cave,
my blanket-built tent
no different than the place i’d lived so much of my life
as a child of five
afraid of the dark
but, more afraid of the light

what if?
what if?
what if
the pain went away,
for more than a moment,
more than an hour,
more than a day?

would i create?
would i build?
would i design a new life?
would i finally relate… to those who know joy and life and romps in the park?
mmmmmmmm?
would i find a more than a moment to really enjoy the sun?
would i run? would i jump?
would i leap toward the sky,
high, high above all the hate and the lies?
would i learn to savor more than a few glorious fries?

would i take class after class after class after class
of ballet and jazz and pilates, modern, and hip-hop, and most of all… tap?
would i clean my room and donate all my crap?

would i bring joy to the world through poetry and prose?
OR, would i just snuggle my stuffed kitties and wiggle my toes?
OR, would i curl in the darkness and recount my woes?

really?
what if
the pain went away,
seriously
“yes”
forever
for real
and
for more than a moment,
more than an hour,
much, much, much,
more than a day?

would i write movies and books and even tv?
would i draw? would i paint?
would i eat chocolate soufflé?
would i shop ‘til i drop?
would i listen to pop?

would i take of my mask
and skype all my friends?
would i buy a new iPhone
and be addicted to… facetime?
is it possible?
would i dare?

wow!
would i show all my friends i am not as beautiful as they think,
only to find
they think i am prettier, so much prettier, than they even thought possible?
“ha!”
would i be so excited that i would sell all my words at five bucks-a-pop?
or, would i upload every last rhyme to the web for not even a dime?

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
the ideas, the thoughts,
the dreams in a deluge
a torrent
a terror
a moment of mania
a flurry of fury
a magical mélange of beauty
if only
if only
all of this would be true

if, the pain went away,
forever
for real
for more than a moment,
more than an hour,
more than a day
….oh, yes
“hurray!”
if the pain went away
for more than a week or a month….
or even
a year
“YES!”
“YES!”
“YES!”

yes, i think i would honor the hours, the days, months, and years
with a passion for producing much more than tears

i do believe i would write, write, and write
more often
and better
….more uplifting
and giddier
stronger
more inspiring
even, yes… more….
desiring….
if
if
if only, the pain went away,
seriously
yes
forever
for real
for more than a moment,
more than an hour,
more than a day
……for more than a year
if i only would heal….

indeed, i believe
i did that just now
i savored
i wrote
yes
yes
i wrote….
…..i lived life nearly in full
in that tiniest of moments,
when life sparkled and glittered
and i felt all aglow…
…that moment
….when time stopped
when the sorrow….
“breathe”
skipped more than a beat
when
the pain went away
in an instant
in total
all gone
“yes.”
all gone!

and, even as it slowly crept back,
(i’m sorry…
but unfortunately… it did)
i steeled myself
and
i kept on writing
i kept on writing
and writing
and writing
as if
it barely hurt at all

unfortunately
now
the time has run out

perhaps
yes, perhaps
if the pain went away,
forever
for real
for more than a moment,
more than an hour,
more than a day

i would work harder
play harder
and pray harder
but, it’s hard…
alas
much too hard
when i’m writhing
and screaming
and squirming
and screeching
inside and out
and outside and in
it’s far too hard
to
do much of anything
let alone
to be
out
and
about
and not feeling shut in…

so, until the time passes
that the pain goes away
i will write what i feel
when i feel it
and
it will just have to
be more than okay
sorry
don’t worry
it is what it is
i am not angry
i am just hurting
too much to fight it

however, yes…
however
we hope
that someday
for more than a moment,
more than an hour,
much, much, much,
more than a day
the pain will leave me
inside and out
forever
for real
and for more than a day
the pain will leave me
and
it
will stay the f*ck
far, far away

© 2012 by ariana sexton-hughes, all rights reserved

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