I Hope You Find Your Voice Again

by Caroline Laversa

Caroline Laversa

I Hope You Find Your Voice Again

I’m bad at painting my nails

I think it’s because my hands used to shake

They did that a lot

Remember how the paint would be all over my fingertips

You must have noticed, or maybe I told you

Because one day you brought me some rubbing alcohol 

I normally just left the paint on my skin

It’s not that I liked the way it looked, I just didn’t want to feel exposed

But this time I thought about you and I started wiping it off

I went all around the edges with the alcohol and it stung

I was so careful and I thought you would like it

I thought you would look at my fingers and see what I had done

But when you came and took your rubbing alcohol back, your eyes were shut

I asked you to open them but your ears turned into clouds

I yelled at them while you blew them against my cheek but they were just vapor

I reached for your mouth, feeling for the shapes of the words I needed to hear

But you bit your lip and it screamed in pain and the wind passed by and took your voice

The words disintegrated in my hand and I cried because I knew you couldn’t hear me

I caught your breath in a bottle, maybe it could tell me what I wanted to hear

But the glass burned my hands and I let go

I listened hard for it to break so I could hear your words before they melted into the air

But it just kept falling and I knew that what was behind the glass would never be mine

You couldn’t see but you knew I was out of options

Because you wouldn’t open your eyes, and your ears were clouds, and the wind stole your voice, and your thoughts were shielded by glass

But an ocean of paint lapped at my feet and you got scared because I had another option

You tried to stop me but you couldn’t open your eyes, your ears were clouds, the wind stole your voice, your almost-words were sand  

I dove into the paint so I could hide again

Wasn’t that what you wanted?

I was confused because you started searching for me in the tides

You looked for your voice, too

I hoped you’d find your voice again

I thought it was my fault so I came back and let you steal mine

I couldn’t use it yet, anyway

I stopped painting my nails badly after that

It’s not that I stopped shaking

I just stopped painting them