Scout & Birdie
Scout & Birdie

She is passing through fire, only spends two days here. Reflecting the sun and all it’s shiny characteristics. With her she brings shadows of the past in bubbles of text. She brings them back for the second time as if they belong here. As if I want to hear them. As if I need this shock. I don’t.

She betrays me. Shedding light on things I’d rather not see. Reminding me that I am still stuck under soles of brown combat boots like gum, refusing to let go. Still intertwined, interlaced. It is not all of me that sticks, that stubbornly latches on. But some of me does. And some of me is more than enough.

More than enough to suck me back into nighttime daydreams I don’t want to have. My thoughts suggest alternate endings and new beginnings. My thoughts fail to acknowledge how it came about in actuality. How it transpired. I mull over kisses and touches that never came to fruition as I try to sleep and dream of something else, anything else. If I would have said yes then I would know what it’s like to touch his skin, lie next to him. I would know what he tastes like. I would know the sound of his gasp, the beat of his heart. I would have rested my head on his chest and let my fingers swim through his hair. I would know what his voice does when it whispers, what color his eyes are when it’s dark and we are only separated by molecules. But I can’t know any of these things because I said no. And I have to keep reminding myself it was the right thing to do. It is a small comfort to know none of these thoughts are real. I know that while I think them they won’t happen, but I’d rather not think of them at all.

I would rather just rest under her covers and the darkness. I would rather keep moving, ignoring these feelings until they subside. I would rather not know there is still interest. I would rather not be reminded of his existence and how it affects me. A direct message inside of an app. An agreement ignored. I would rather not have gotten the message.

My body responds by reminding me this seed won’t grow. It can’t. “This is not for you.” “He is not for you.” “You are strong.” “Move on.”

I can’t seem to move on. The last time he came back she was passing through water, emotions. I drown in my desire with guilt in the back of my throat because I know this is wrong. I shouldn’t want him. I should know better than to fall for someone who has someone else. I should know better than to like someone who thinks it’s okay to pursue me while he has someone else. I should have more common sense than to expect anything good to come of this. My body responds with signs that can only point to turmoil. I get my period two weeks early: this seed won’t grow. My body knows more than I do that this cycle has to end but my feelings don’t mirror this effect. I would rather not care.

But I do. I care. I still care. And that is why this tide she brings is more than just a nuisance. Because it reminds me that I have not moved on. She reminds me I’m not over it.

She is full now. For two days she is reflecting on the darkness of bottomless ocean. It is the first warm day of the year. She brings me face to face with stirrings. Face to face with things I thought I had turned my back on and left. I carried them with me and now they are leaking. Now I have to deal with them. She tells me to feel them. Even if I don’t want to. Tonight I bury myself under blankets and sweat with the still heat and humidity. I ask her to purge the desire from my body as I fall into another restless sleep. Maybe this time it will work.


About the artist...

Sarah (or Sar) Cohen is a recent Columbia College Chicago graduate with a major in Acting and a minor in Stage Combat. She is originally from Mexico City and currently exploring poetry, solo performance and dance in addition to acting in Chicago. She is thrilled to be a part of this issue of Scout & Birdie among other talented creatives.