I am assembling a chain, you see. No matter if its fine and as insubstantial as air. Each moment builds on the next, a determined effort to move forward, to forget you. This link? I'll forget the exact blue of your eyes, the next the smell of your skin. With each link you'll fade into a hazy recollection until you become just another number, another face in the crowd of the countless who have gone to die in the crowded room (of my heart). The irony, of course is that each loop is crafted with the very thing I wish to forget. And as I try to forget you I inevitably remember you; the blue fire of your kiss. It's then that the chain shatters in my hands, forcing me to rebuild it over and over again only to rupture in my hands once more, tormenting me to madness.
I take this dilapidated notebook everywhere, even the bathtub. I like to let the hot water open my pores, my mind, my heart. Between the furious scribbling I set it on my chest, waiting for the next verse. The weight of my words presses me deep into the basin, the gravity of 10,000 nights, and I'm thankful the water is shallow, so I don't succumb to the burden.
I'd joke and call you my octopus because you'd engulf me in a flurry of limbs whenever I came near, pulling me seductively toward your mouth. I was happy to be your prey, to get lost in the tangle of your tentacles - another love blinded fool - I had no idea that you'd feast on my soft innards, then spit out the bones when you were through.
Time crawls during an episode, the days and nights extending before you; a vanishing horizon. You begin to take notice of little things; the exact rhythm of your heart, the way a water droplet holds light. But mostly I sit in the stillness of apathy, stagnate as everything around me grows and changes while I molder. It's happened enough times for me to know that it's all a matter of time before it passes. So I sit, and smoke, and drink black coffee and wait until the light returns.
Buried beneath the raw flesh of every scar there lies a story, a veiled truth manifested in the physical form. If you listen close enough they will whisper, confessing our sins, our triumphs, our follies and, even, our secrets.
We'll chance upon each other, some day or evening a long time from now. By then my heart will have scabbed over, but still the edges are tender. You'll be excited - "it's been so long!" - but I'll be full of dread, caution. I'll regard you coolly, just enough detachment to make you unsure, ill at ease. I'll make some cutting remark, veiled in subtlety, then excuse myself from your company. You'll mull the comment over, repeating it in your mind, puzzling together its meaning. And slowly, you'll reach the soul of it and know that I'm still bleeding. You'll watch me from across the room, and I'll know by its focused heat, But I'm too old and too tired to play the games of young girls. You won't see me feigning laughter or pretending to flirt with some random person. I'll simply be me, as even keeled and placid as you knew I was. It will remind you of those quiet moments we shared, tangled in each other, Doing nothing but marveling at the miracle of love, the wonder of eachother's breathing. You'll then be in touch, and I'll hesitate but answer; no sense of preservation. You'll apologize for it all and I'll give you a halfhearted, watery kinda smile. (Actions, of course, speak louder than words and I'm simply mirroring your past indifference.) You'll realize too late, like they all do, that you made a huge mistake. But it'll make no difference to me because you had broken something inside me That day, way back, when I stared out of the window, watching a squirrel as You stood above me and recited a litany of why you didn't want me. And maybe then you'll long for me the way I did those many months, The wind blowing through the hollow in your chest, whistling past the ragged edges. And then you'll understand, it dissolved that warm October as I sat in silence. You'll know it's too late for me, for you, for us. It's just now that you're catching up.
"Look at me," he murmured. So I did, choosing his left eye over the right. Like I knew it would, the pupil dilated, blossoming under my steady gaze. There's never an option, I'm taken hostage by eyes and that's why I never look, see? Now I saw him, stripped bare before me, the scars raw on his flesh. Yet, he never blinked, never broke contact as I penetrated and saw it all. I admired his courage - I could never be that vulnerable - but also his stupidity. After all, he didn't know what kind of woman I might be or what I could do with his scars. Then again... maybe he just wanted to be seen.
Just got the nod from Once Upon a Crocodile that they will be including my poem “The Shit You’ll See in Paris” in their upcoming Issue 7!
Keep your eyes peeled for it!
Rumi was really onto something - writing poems about God, who for all we know could be a figment of our imagination, or a madness of spirit. The point is: when you love something intangible and invisible, it has no chance of ever breaking your heart.
We interrupted your regularly scheduled
program, to wish you – if you celebrate it –
a Happy New Year.