Fear

Written by: Grace EunSong Lee

The glass walls caved in with a roar
a yellow storm that broke the faulty veins that had been
up till now
Invisible.
And I, clutching a rag of paper in guilty hands 
curled up at the end of a dilapidated wooden bench 
at last doing what I should have my whole life – 
Late, once again, on the one day lateness is not excused.

I have always imagined the world ending 
with a shattering of stained glass 
we had painted to portray the thing we called beauty, and
that had shined vulgar colors on us for millions of lives;
a jolt of awakening from some nightmare into 
something that cannot be as easily defined, 
for in all minds it is a different message;
a violent wrenching open of the hidden crack of light
in an atlas that had seemed impenetrable, endless – 
but the entire time had merely been an idiot’s doodle.

In that moment
whether it be in a dream like this or in some 
mad state of visioning
the feeling cannot be snipped and trimmed 
and stuffed into a four-letter word,
for it defies all language and
pulls the strings hanging from mind and soul and stomach
pulls them and plays a cat's cradle game with them
and leaves the limbs wild and dancing
with the silliness of a drunk man’s misery.

And yet all fell back into order when I opened my eyes
from a dream that had the power to awake, 
and glanced at the rotting walls.
There seemed to be tremendous joy written in them, for
I saw at last their stains were of glass.