Hollow

Once, I wished I was hollow.

I hoped and prayed

and begged the universe

to hollow out this mind and body

and leave me a shell,

leave me as papery skin

hanging loose on brittle bones,

free of substance,

free of feeling.

Once, I wished I was hollow

like a china doll,

beautiful but cold

and if broken nothing but air would escape

and shards of my face would grin still.

Once, I wished I was hollow,

thinking I would not care if I shattered

every time I was dropped

or held too tightly.

Now I wish I was full,

I wish I was bursting at the seams,

wish my stuffing was overflowing,

I wish I was heavy with emotions.

But I am hollow.

I am air and skin

and bits of shell glued back together so many times

that I have changed form

into something new,

something empty.

Once, I wished I was hollow,

but air grows stale when trapped

and skin sags when unplumped

and what is hollow

can never be happy.

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