1. to begin with: some people who ought to love me hate me instead.
boring enough at the time, though after soaked in the half-holy hue of unconfessed happiness; under soft-strung light; images blurred in wrapping paper to look even less like me; poorly admired, undaughtered; though simple; though never simple; love could be anything, love could be wickerwork and ceding fingers, a time, after all, back then, of family and halos of splinter and checking my toes to make sure i’m still; and love certainly was not conditioned; being young; and love certainly did not hang thinly from the body like hoarfrost off the cornfields by my grandparents’ home; and i, longing to ruin stalk by stalk, to endust air with ice; grey, amber, solid-breath, wreckage too small to lift in my hand; weeping lost and lungless in its empty maze, surrounded by nothing; i can only wish for the chance to return; or at least for a kindness which can never belong to me; because it never fucking did; because i hardly belong here;
placing faith; a needling grin, shaped green to cut; the way i was lowered into what almost killed me; the way it was done as a kiss or the opening of tulips; (the best and worst things on Earth are human;)
2. Soft of snow glassed into horizons, and beginning begins, and end, and there’s no moment I’m not getting older; air crisp at cutting lungs, lungs bold at enduring it; soul-light, cusp of ascent; a palmful of air can hold anything; imagine how it opens the heart;
No snow, grey precisely the sweetness of enduring homeward, anchored, and it’s easy to forget, while dissolutioned, that we were born for slowness, that everything is, that hatred, while common, by no means default, that there’s more of evil in a slicing voice though much, too, in a silent one; after a long time, so long it’s a new life altogether, the body accustoms to evening, hearthwarm richer because it followed cold. The endurance which held me, brittle and brisk, released like vespers; the dream of ease, unbecoming a dream;
A single drop of snowless sky, the solitary tuned up a half-step (told so many times at least one must be true); today so bright I mean at the peak and the brightest dull I’ve ever seen bright enough to whisper stories to me over an open fire, stories of breakneck frozen lives entangled, of people smiling for the right reasons; a single noontime’s all it takes, a single faithful fall of light; (But dissolution means radiant sharpening radiant; even when neither are there; December colors covering like feelings; humans saving themselves from corpsehood; how I saved myself or was it God; how I awakened from the terror of life to discover merely life; how isn’t this, too, joy;)
3. (where are the stars. shine could they once. faith falls. what those days died. who left us here. who drained the Earth. we are so full and void that. but to sleep and sleep and. what’s left when all is gone. what could be. i reach. whose hand. why lift my eyes at all. when. i dream. a guilt. no sun. snow does not love. what girl could grow here now. i have so much so much to go. still. when is home. where can i keep it. i pray to bear an ounce of sky.)
4. a falling beauty smells of candlelit voices; the crouch and crawl and roar of giants quietly clattering; earthlings do their best, celebrate imperfection; granted bodies we ought to use them; a faithing wind, a perfect storm; Earth swells, Earth loves, Earth reconciles; Earth reconciles forever; and there is no wrong in clinging when so much has been wrenched from you;
finely-spun; night stalled and stretched like a loom; like the opening of ribs into tears; the vast tracts of silence which longed me to be wild, enamour through, grow hypothermic; what others had by birth I sought warm from inside; handprint chilled flat; gazing through floor to ceiling French windows at whatever outdoors held; once I loved life; it would be a long time before I loved it again; although I did; I do; sometimes; it’s still early—
Lilia Marie Ellis is a trans woman writer from Houston. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in publications including The Maine Review, The Nashville Review, and trampset. Her microchap Love and Endless Love will be published this winter by Giallo Lit. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @LiliaMarieEllis!