There's a flap of flesh along side my thumbnail. I wonder what would happen if I pulled at it? I imagine it would cleave the skin, running all the way to the bone, like some wayward thread. And what would I find, there, hidden beneath the flesh? A lifetime of regret, lies, doubt and self loathing. Best to leave it alone.
Don't come to me if you don't want a straight answer. Don't come to me if you want to be coddled. Don't come to me if you don't want practical advice. Don't come to me if you just want me to agree with you. Don't come to me if you can't take it raw. I'm not your fucking bartender, baby. I'm not serving you a chaser after this shit.
Maybe I don't like the silence because it reminds me of an ex who used to disappear for days at a time, saying that the aliens had abducted him. Every time he'd reappear it was with some new girl, hanging off his dick - and I knew he'd slept with her so that he'd have a place to sleep, and food to eat. I could never understand why he wouldn't come to me to ask for these things, knowing that he'd never have to pay for them with sex. The last time he disappeared for months, turning up on the opposite coast so that he could "make it," but came back home with a pregnant fiancé.
I weave these ribbons between the hollows of my bones, sewing together the frayed flesh that you stripped bare in my pursuit of you. Replace my heart with a Cuckoo clock, and my mind with a mocking bird, then maybe I'll sleep during these fitful nights of uncertainty.
You came to me, pockets overflowing with tamarind pods, ripe figs, celery root and prickly pears, bravely holding me for thirty seconds "because that's how long it takes for the endorphins to be released." No one's held me that long before, and I could've fell to pieces in your arms because you felt so safe.
It turns the bathwater chemical blue reminding me of the Mediterranean and better days. Of absorbing Vitamin D through my skin as a beautiful man begged to worship at the temple of my body. Where I felt alive being carried on the waves which rolled like a skilled lover's hips. This fiberglass tub is a cheap, lifeless imitation of that Middling Sea; The blue stain ringing the basin a reminder of that.
I feel hollow - skin tight like a drum - bouncing my fingers upon my chest to hear the echo of my heart.
It lay heavily on my tongue, syrupy with a cloying sweetness, before I swallowed, feeling the burn of Napalm. "That was the only alcohol in the place," you observed, dryly but not without amusement. "Did you want a taste?" the words were too mature for me but you knew that, and perhaps that was the appeal for you.
The darkness slipped inside me at the end of a knotted winter scarf slung over the dilapidated door of a hotel room. There swung the jerking feet of my hopes for faith, love, brotherhood and a well adjusted childhood. It took me decades to understand that you can't change the shifting hands of Fate, much less the accidental slip of the foot.
The sky is grey, pressing down on me, always pressing down into that hollow cavity where my heart should be. The muscle and sinew still there, of course, useful only to keep time. It does that well, at least, better than a Rolex.