All she wants is to touch the sky,
that ceiling of insubstantial imagination
with horizons full of star-shaped promises
she used to wish upon,
when she was so much younger
and it wasn't inconceivable
that wish-upon-a-star could
be a miracle.

But skeletons skitter through her daydreams—
unsheathed fingers scratching at her eyelids,
bare hips gleaming like the milky white of
nothingness and nowhere and everything else
she's so afraid of as
tongueless mouths stutter castanet mumblings,
teeth clicking clacking grinding cracking
without lips to shape around the words and
make them whole,
but she can hear it in her head
if not her ears,
how dubious her wanting is.
They know.

And from the daydreams come her nightmares
filled with a different lack of words,
the kind that begins in screams and ends in
the stiff embrace of loneliness choking her,
there's no zenith, no lapse, no ebb,
it's all the same sort of pain,
worn and torn and broken just alike,
but there's nothing she can do except wake up
and face the azure emptiness above.

They want to tell her she's defective,
all their conclusive lies, assumptions
leading to a definition of everything she's not;
it's just too hard to say that she's unique—
just like everybody else.

She wakes up feeling lovely,
like the world belongs to only her
and she can make it fall in love with her scars,
but the doubts come tapping back
on the tiptoes of a stranger born of bones,
who giggles without lungs at her infidelity
as she catches falling dreams beneath her tongue
and wishes they were just a little sharper,
so they could take her away.

But every day's a prison, every night a wraith,
each one better worse the same as before
but different because she knows a little more,
feels a little more, wants a little less;
maybe one day all these restrictions will
cut her down to nothingness, less than that,
enough to reach up broken fingers
and brush the heaven she'll never see.

What happened to the days she could sleep?