If only is one of those wonderful terrible phrases, isn't it? It's one of those things that opens up the possibilities of what you could do if only. That's a wonderful thought. It allows boys to touch the moon if only they could become astronauts. It allows girls to be models if only they would grow into six foot tall, beautiful amazons. If only.
But the secret to if only, after you're done dreaming, is that it really is if only. It's a wonderfully expansive yet limiting phrase. Expansive in thoughts and dreams and clouds and all those things that you can't ever really grasp, just look at and marvel. You can look at an elephant shaped cloud and it doesn't make it any more of an elephant than it makes me the leader of a ringed circus.
If only. But if only gets you nowhere because you're saying it while sitting on a hill, fingers intertwined with blades of grass, neck craned painfully upward at the places you could only be if only you were a bird. Well, I'm no bird. I'm a girl and I'll only look eyelevel at a nest or the top of a tree from my bedroom window.
If only. Yes it's a terrible wonderful phrase. It will get me nowhere and leave me here, watching the clouds until cold but gentle drops of rain draw goosebumps on my bony arms and nudge me inside. I think I'll never say it again, such a vile thing for sending me inside. Maybe after I go in I won't say it. Yes just after. Because as much as it leaves me here in body, sometimes it lets me stretch for that blue and white elephant in spirit.
If only things could go on like that forever. If only the rain would never come and that cloud would stay with me, sharing an otherwise dull and calm afternoon. It gives me a false hope but a hope nonetheless. If only.