There's a void at the center of my being. I don't mean my heart. I mean a pillar, as if God drilled out the core of me, Some glorified test tube surrounded by flesh. It's not comfortable, But I admit it's a good place to store baggage.
You held my hand as we drove through the desert, the parched night air like a ribbon that tangled in our hair. We stopped for a drink in what could've been a ghost town, had it not been for the neon lights wound around and strung between the lampposts. I got something to share with you, a drink, delighted at the thought of our lips sharing the same edge; it was almost as if we were kissing. When I returned to the car you were standing with three other girls - one who was barefoot, her toes blackened by the asphalt. I joined you, but hesitated because I understood that we were in that no man's land between something and absolutely nothing at all. But you somehow sensed my trepidation and slid a reassuring arm around my waist, pulling me close to you and kissing my lips with tenderness. It was in that moment I fell in love with you because I knew I was safe.
I miss you - that's all I wanted to say, the only message I want to send out on the ether. I hope it reaches you, on your little farm atop the hill.
I have a photo of a place I love, took it before I even knew you existed; a pathway drenched in the golden, afternoon light which lead to a small cluster of fragrant orange trees. We stood at that very spot once, many years later and took a photo together. It's long gone but I remember it; you arms were wrapped around my hips Holding me delicately, as if I were a treasure. I was turned slightly, curled in the warmth of your shoulder, eyes closed as you kissed the side of my head, on the temple, so sweetly. Every time I look at that photo, I imagine us there - ghosts of love that never blossomed, but had always stayed sweet - and I smile at what could've been.
The best thing about
a hot shower is the sound.
No on can hear you
jerk off, or
cry and jerk off
(if that’s your thing).
It’s just a wall of white noise.
I like to shower in
lie down in the basin
with a washcloth
I feel the water droplets –
some fine as mist,
others like fat tears –
on my lips,
And somewhere in that
wall of sound,
We snuck into the church's gift shop in hopes of escaping the oppressive summer heat. They had an air conditioner, which felt delicious on our sweaty skin and sunburnt shoulder blades. Trying to look inconspicuous, we pretended to shop, so the clerk wouldn't catch on and throw us out. You were looking at something intently and when I came to see, you extended your hand to me. In the bowl of your palm was a perfectly carved, polished olivewood heart. I turned my palm skyward to see if you would offer it; you dropped it into my waiting hand without hesitation.
There's one addiction I have and that's living in the past. I like to go back in time and replay scenes in my head; good ones, bad ones, they're all the same. I like to relive them in great detail, slowing down time to capture the specifics I missed in those moments the first time around. I imagine that they are photographs, and imagine the condition they'd be in. Some edges worn from constant replay, other sticky with the aftermath of love making, still others, ripped and pasted together again, their edges burnt in fury.
There's something soothing about running my fingertips along the edges of a well-loved book. Something gratifying in the softness of something once so precise. I hope, that in my old age, I find the same sweet softness in myself that I find so valuable in a book.
I lift my face skyward so the rain can wash over me, kissing my brow, soothing the delicate flesh beneath my eyes, caressing my weary mouth. And for a moment, as fleeting as a heartbeat I feel perfect in my brokenness.
"Oh, thank you God!" I breathed with deep gratitude and reverence. There were two cigarettes left in the pack instead of one.