Kale Sastre

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On Becoming

I hate the sound of doors opening and closing. I hate it when I can feel a door slam, and my heart jumps. I hate it when I’m expecting people who make me nervous, and every footfall outside my apartment door sounds like theirs. And then I also hate it when it’s not them.

I want to feel safe and secure, to live in a world that no one can enter without good intentions. I want to know that the feet outside my door are not ever again going to be the bad people coming for me. I want to hear footsteps rushing for a door without also hearing the screaming that faded out years ago.

My apartment is a cocoon, made of thread so thin I can’t fully metamorphosize into a butterfly. I lay there, deformed, begging for rest, but instead all kinds of aphids and gnats and maggots get in, chewing away at my developing body, preventing my wings from sprouting.

Every footfall could be the one that crushes me. Every animal loping by could be the one that swallows me. Every day could be my last. But I have to persist because where could I go without my wings? How can I crawl while my legs are turning to goo? What is there left to hope for when my silk slides off of me, and the nutrients I stocked up ooze out of me, and I’m baking in the summer sun instead of resting in the shade?

I tried the garden. I tried the butterfly sanctuary. The garden had no place for me, and the sanctuary kicked me out. Now I’m on the road. Whoever heard of a cocoon on asphalt? Rooting for the underdog is one thing. Rooting for a conscious pile of goo is another.

Who is left to scrape me up?


Kale Sastre is a writer, Christian, anthropologist, and adventurer, in no particular order. Her work can be found at the themighty.com/u/kale-sastre/ as well as in various electronic and print publications, such as Mad Swirl, Green Blotter, Thought Catalog, and Lee Review. She is working on many projects that may or may not be hitting stores near you. Follow her on Twitter @KaleSastre.


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