so much between

I believe(d) deeply, strongly in the in-between. The sharp intake of breath before you speak, words lingering on the tip of your tongue, the pause between one kiss and the next. It seems I have always lived between, between generations, a buffer, a translator, sometimes for my brother, other times my mother. My father remained a stoic and staid mystery to me; there was never a space for interpretation there. Throughout my life, I had an intense feeling that I was born in the wrong time. I imagined that I had somehow time traveled or been reborn in a time where I did not quite fit. 

I don't know where it is I thought I belonged, but I learned relatively quickly where I didn't. I always felt in-between, which may explain why my high-school friends ranged from drama kids to cheerleaders. I don't like extremes. I live in the messy, chaotic greys.

In college I had a friend who continously told me I wasn't what she expected when she first met me in class. I always took it as a compliment. But there are times, I'm not so sure. So many people I know and love are a contradiction. It is easy, as humans, to get caught between expectations, society, culture, and our own desires. 

M was one of the first people I met who was 100% exactly herself 100% of the time. There are no hidden messages, nothing to decode. I can't tell you how many arguments I started by not believing what she said was actually how she felt. In the South, it seems to me, we never say what we mean, not really. What we mean is couched in "bless his heart" and a sweet smile while saying something cruel; it is clenched in our teeth and hidden in syntax. We never say anything without working it over. People say Faulkner's writing is like this, that he takes too long to get around to it. I completely understand why he does it. He can't not. 

But the limbo of the in-between, the unsurety, the not knowing takes its toll eventually or leads to misunderstanding. Yet, I'm not ready to give up on my belief in the between, the spaces where everything and nothing happens... in just one breath.

I offer Rebecca Lindenberg's Ghostology for your poetic pleasure.


by Rebecca Lindenberg 

The whistler's

the white space
between is

and not
or after a question,

a pause. Nothing
isn't song:
a leaf hatching
from its green shell,

frost whorling
across a windshield,

an open door