Script for audio file 'Comportment' by Alisia Casper, Issue 13.
I find pieces of gold each time I walk,
My nerves ever-altered,
Each step singing with the shine & spike of recognition,
Those glinting bits are so easily missed.
The gold helps, though the pieces are small, more like grains,
Little seeds of something that only I can grow.
Do you remember when you couldn’t walk?
Though you managed, with great effort and pain, to stand
But you fell then fell then you fell again, and again, you kept falling…
They tried to get you back up, but you became so heavy, and were finally abandoned,
A terrible fallen thing.
Do you remember that?
You do not.
Outside of the house, the house with its familiar routes & leans & soft places,
The home that holds me up and keeps me in,
Is a world of gravity that pulls very hard
At my body,
So that my legs, once strong,
Will not stroll, will never stroll again.
I can not walk.
And that’s how it is for me
And for others like me.
And those not like me use their beautiful allowance
To speak of walking so lightly,
and that casual deep-as-the-sea expectation of its ease.
It makes me sick.
I am sick.
I am stuck, through & through,
Is there room for this?
Or is your discomfit seeking avenues of dismissal; intellectual, have you
Already found one, maybe two or three?
Is your lip service ready?
And in the bath, borne by water warm, my legs, wreathed in bubbles are beautiful,
and I may know myself, beloved, in different motion,
A light chain of silver whispers round my neck, holding the locket filled with breath
From the bodies of those who understand, who regard mobility as sacred,
And hail my daily way as glorious.
I carefully collect the gold I find, those small seeds that glow, and
When I have gathered enough I will melt the gold down and cast a brand,
Carrying the word ‘notice’ formed full & strong,
And I will burn that mark hard on every dull forehead,
So that as they walk, free, fine, & easy, and as the wind gently whips their skin so sweetly,
They will feel the shift that they strive to ignore in sight,
No filter of denial available when their fingers touch the scar word.