there were dead birds and fragile things hanging on the clothesline. you liked to look at them because it made you feel more secure; less like scraps of fabric and snips or newspapers tied loosely with dental floss. so you hung ribcages and tea cups and our love on the clothesline because fragile things made you feel less alone.
"I'm not afraid of dying; I'm afraid of leaving." you whispered to the stars. the air grew heavy. "I don't like the idea that this is all there is, because there's so much more I want to be. I want to be beautiful."
I was always more afraid of living, because living meant that there were no excuses. I agreed, though, quietly, that leaving would be the worst part.
you traced constellations on my arms and back and face. you liked to count planets and shooting stars; bright things made you feel warm inside. you kept the stars in your eyes because you didn't want to lose them. I kept you in my arms, because I didn't want you to realize how we were dangling on the clothesline, and I wanted to save myself from the dizzying drop.
fragile things break. they shatter. ribcages break, tea cups are smashed. and we just dangle, afraid of the fall.