Cover Photo: Pot of Gold by Chloe Bell

Pot of Gold

I do not write this out of bitterness or resentment. I do not write it out of love or fondness. I write this from a place of resolve. I dug to the bottom of me and found there is not earth but water, a well of wet that was once filled with poison, and is now filled with shimmering bits of algae. I dug to the bottom of me to rid myself of your daddy issues, and my own, your rage and my fear. I dug to the bottom of me and came up with a slopping bucket. I will drink from this for a while, I will not share. 

Today I look in the mirror and see the face of a woman I have not seen for many days. She is not artificially arched to mimic the porn you love. She has bits of old mascara congealed in the creases of her eyes. Her hair is kinked from a too-tight pony tail and smells of stale cigarettes. I search her face for that familiar sadness and instead find something akin to hope. I share with myself that all too familiar moment of reckoning--together we will weather a thousand more storms, together is all we have. This will be enough. 

I recall myself slamming the too-heavy door of a car full of hate. I see me, grey sweatpants and jet-lagged eyes, saying pointedly, "I hope you find the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow." It is not a well-wish, it comes from deep down, the poisoned well which was once filled with thick red love. It comes from a woman scorned, abused, diminished who has ceased to fit these casts. I wish for you to travel to the ends of the earth in search of a woman who can drain the sadness inside of you. I wish for you to arrive at your glinting goal, filled with 16 inches of water. I wish for you to look inside that rippling gold and to see not my face but your own. Then and only then will you know, that it wasn't the girl with the smokey hair that couldn't fill your dreams, but the sad boy who lived inside your heart. 

As for my own pot of gold, I do not wonder where it lives. I do not follow the rainbow in the hopes that I'll stumble across it and my life will have meaning. I know the meaning of my life, to dress the body I'm given, to nourish it and to cleanse it, to hold it closely and to push it onward, to empty the well into the open hands of others, and to refill it from a place within that does not dry up, even in the face of immense sadness. Maybe it comes, maybe it doesn't. I have loved beyond myself, I have loved the darkest parts of another and lost my reflection in the process. 

Today, I dip my hands into the well and bring up fresh water. I cup it in my hands and stare in curiosity. How are you not spotted with toxicity? How are you not dangerous to drink? I do not ponder long on these questions. These are the secrets of the universe. There is magic in healing, in trusting you will not poison yourself, not anymore. 

I did not write this out of bitterness or resentment. I did not write it out of love or fondness. I wrote it out of resolve, to keep going, to keep filling the well. Drain the hate, you will replenish, all on your own. Maybe that, in and of itself, is the pot of gold. 

I'm a recent grad of an expired women's college, living, working, and writing in Pittsburgh, PA. You can find more of my work here:  http://cloachrysanthemum.blogspot.com/ and follow me on instagram: @chloe_christina and twitter: @chl0e_christina