‘Speak without words’, he said.

We remembered how the scent of burnt paper filled the room, the hallway, the whole building even. If we could follow the smoke back to the first sparkle of fire that we set to it, we could read our blacklist, made up of incidents of hurt, as if with every verbalisation we stitched the exact places where we could tear the paper, as if it were perforating tools, not poking holes in our hearts any more, but on paper, and with every word the piercing got more profound. Does paper cry when it’s torn? Trust it all to paper, as if you just spilled coffee, only more intentionally. Tear it all up, burn it, let the smoke of blackness arise to the Creator who knows how to distinguish darkness from blackness. The One who made fire. The one who knew us before we knew ourselves. Let him have it, our nostrils are not made for inhaling this way of living. Please don’t let us suffocate in the guilt that fills us now that we throw all of our sh.. onto Him, we thought.

‘The more you throw, the more visible I become,’ he said. ‘Let Me have it.’

Don’t let us suffocate then by the lack of oxygen that surrounds us in swirls as we surround ourselves with the fire burning our blacklist. Let me start with new beginnings, let me close my eyes and forget that I dance in a singular pronoun. Confuse us, scramble us, sift us, burn us, hold me, forgive me, love me, let me follow You so that the shadow your back casts on my life lights up my blackness, call me out of my past, Father, I am done living there.

‘Wake up,’ he said, ‘you are talking in your sleep again.’