Hey

Hey

I know we haven’t seen each other in a while
But it’s not like I miss you

It’s just that I saw the stars tonight
And they whispered to me your secrets

Sticky secrets with flimsy limbs
Grasping at my hair and hands and happiness

Like chewing gum
Smacking against your teeth

Not that I miss you, but I just want to
Climb into your skin

Suckle on your bones
Like a starving infant

Until they’re dry and cracked to dreadful dust
Leaving your awkward, unworthy flesh behind

I’d gather it up, your flesh
Folded neatly like a linen shirt — skin smoothened to neat pleats

I’d hide it in my trunk
With our forgotten dreams and all the dead things we left behind

I’d keep it
Only for a while

Only for a day
Perhaps for a night

Then I’d toss it out the window
Like a carefree little vixen

Laughing and self-loathing
What a modern woman I’d be

Lonely and occupied and cautious and free
Sometimes melancholy, sometimes a little blue

But, hey
It’s not like I miss you

Disappear

“What if I disappear?”
She asks,
Her voice a deteriorating whisper.

“I’ll come find you,”
I say easily,
Expecting a flippant laugh or a snort or even kisses sweet.

But she says nothing.

We lay there,
Vacant and immobile.

We don’t speak;
We unravel silently,
Decomposing, un-being.

White sheets cradle our bones,
As her white hands cradle my heart.

The truth is,
I fear.

She was a shadow of a person.
I filled her with love and life and grand ideas of the future,
But the cavity in her mind was a pitless abyss.

She could disappear now,
This very second,
And I would remain,
With not a single ort of her existence,
To ease my way.

So we lay there,
Still as corpses or trees.

Barefoot and cold,
In an unspoken reverie.

[Featured image: Silvia Grav]

Synaesthetic Release

With salt in her hair and sun in her pores,
she looks at me.

A cigarette rots on her lips —
clove or cardimom or something equally chichi.

It doesn’t matter either way,
her breath smells like defeat.

“It’s a beautiful day,” she says,
shifting in the car seat.

Yes, it’s a beautiful day,
but it’s an ugly city.

“Try not to kill us before we get there,”
smoke drifts into my lungs, greeting the tenebrosity.

I picture her insides splattered on the asphalt;
it both calms and distracts me.

I pull into the garage and we stumble out,
synchronized in movement, if not in thought, at least.

We enter a house that’s not quite yet a home,
and she sheds her clothes as I pluck and assemble my insecurities.

Within heartbeats,
we’re ready.

The room reeks of sweat and smoke and heat,
as I cram my grotesque past down her throat incessantly.

She suffers; I ache.
We both bleed.

We move in congruence —
like a well-oiled machine.

I bend her until she breaks,
oil leaking out of her eyes, nails, and being.

As our sweat turns stale and our brains to putty,
we lie there breathing, in a pool of our own debris.

[Featured image via: Silvia Grav]

Girl

I say it enough.
Out loud and in faint whispers.
Scrawled in ink on pieces of picayune paper.

I breathe the word.
Even in the callouses of my fingers and the stubble on my legs,
I channel the very pneuma of the notion as I understand it.

A girl, I say to myself,
Is a contradiction,
Drifting between the innocence she was and the woman she wants to be.

Brilliant, cautious, and fractured,
A magnificently fucked up creature.
A paradox, really.

Just like a hurricane.
Or a monument.
Or me.

Have I convinced you yet?
Good.
For I don’t think I can quite get myself to believe.

(This post is an afterthought. Read original post here.)

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[Feature image via: Silvia Grav]

Dirty

We both sweat
like weeping candles
lit and left forgotten for hours

Our flames burn high and bright
our pores sob
in the strange tongue of desire that our mouths are too busy to speak

“You’re so dirty,” he says
his breath hot and wet at the back of my neck
his palms rough and greedy at the curve of my hip

His words drift in the thick air around us
hovering
until they reach me

I hear his voice
it echoes in the movement of my blood
settles in my bones

I want to scream

I loved him with everything I knew and everything I didn’t
love leaked out of my pores
and onto the clothes I would soon shed for him.

Because I wanted him close
close enough to feel it cracking my bones and shattering the paradigm of my thoughts cataclysmically
the way it always did

But there he stood
embracing me
while he made love to a notion fed to him by an ecclesiastical spoon known for ladling deceit

Take me from behind
take me in the earth
WHY TAKE ME AT ALL
if I’m dirty?

I loved him with abandon
almost to a fault
so despite myself
I let him paint on me his filth
make me dirty

[Featured image via: Cesar Biojo]

Surfer Rosa Lover

Her sunglasses were heart-shaped and she had a heart-shaped tattoo. She often used it as a tool, an incentive for those she coveted. Not that they needed an incentive of any sort.

She was lovely. In every way fathomable. My opinion may be biased because I coveted her so. Hot, bothered and heavy with anxiety every time the lace trim of her sleeve teased my elbow.

‘What are you talking about?’ She envelopes her tongue around the piece of gum she placed on the edge of her mouth, making the mundane, meaningless, malarkey gesture seem charming. ‘Broken Face? And need I even mention Where Is My Mind? You on dope, boy? Surfer Rosa is a brilliant embodiment of the deteriorating, hedonistic society we love and hate.’

I loved this. Sometimes I think I contradicted her only to listen to her garrulousness. And garrulousness it was, I knew so even then. It wasn’t the bone-crushing, breath-stealing, brittle and blood-soaked love I much later experienced. It was an all-consuming want. It was an affliction. I knew this.

But I also knew the shape of the side of her waist where her heart-shaped tattoo played hide and seek. The hitch in her breath every now and then, the curling of hair at the back of her neck, the bead of sweat between her breasts. I knew this.

And, unabashed, unrepentant and left with unobscured memories of her breath on my lips, head on my chest, words in head, I knew that some day today, I’d call her with a payphone at the end of the street and we’d collide on the sheets like the first night we did.

She’d know I wouldn’t love her the way I loved my bone-crushing, breath-stealing, brittle and blood-soaked love and in my selfish, sun-soaked, sublime want I’d call her my lover’s name.

So, you see, it really didn’t matter whether she thought Surfer Rosa was a brilliant embodiment of the deteriorating, hedonistic society we love and hate, it didn’t matter if I knew her name, it didn’t matter if she was lovely, it didn’t matter if her sunglasses were heart-shaped and she had a heart-shaped tattoo. It didn’t matter that I was her bone-crushing, breath-stealing, brittle and blood-soaked love.

The Antiquity Of A Simple Homage

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Plunge, scrub and drizzle.
Plunge, scrub and drizzle.

She thought about how brazen The Grey made her feel. Maybe it was the color it washed over everything, making the simple chicken slaughter stall seem enigmatic and foreboding and the hushed strokes of the sweepers on the street almost poetic and melancholy.

Or perhaps it was the wash itself. A great torrent of despair and dissolved tears.

But it did bring relief. It blessed her with this puddle she now used to wash her needs.

Plunge, scrub and drizzle.
Plunge, scrub and drizzle.

She looked up at the sky and it struck her again, the dreadful beauty of it. All of it. The Grey made people dull and grey and lazy. It was wonderful. It was The Grey that made her believe that anything ever existed that was larger than the life they all craved to relentlessly better here.

She wished she could marvel about it, sing songs and serve its mighty splendour – somehow. Aayi wouldn’t have to threaten to chop her hair off then, if she didn’t work, because she would. She’d do it with joy and hopefully some grace.

But people here didn’t appreciate  soliloquy. Or anything for that matter. You needn’t speak unless it was to provide or profane.

She would wish herself out of here if she didn’t fear everywhere had become like here. The Carfolk and the pedestrians alike. They never stopped to soliloquise, they never marveled. They badgered and grunted and shuddered and scolded and complained.

And oftimes, they never stopped at all.

Plunge, scrub and drizzle.
Plunge, scrub and drizzle.

Aayi told her the Oldfolk would marvel. They were like people made of The Grey, in their grey-cast photographs and monochrome personalities. They marveled and lazed and contemplated.

She didn’t like that it was old and uninteresting and unconsidered to want to dedicate a part of an hour, a day and yourself to pay homage to the beautiful and magestic and something so so big as The Grey.

She wished the time would come again.

Congruency

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‘Walk a straight line to me.’ She said. Yeah, okay. I agreed. A post box might stub my toes or a streetlight split my soul. But say the word, and I’ll walk a straight line right to the shore.

The water washing over my feet the way fear ripples over grief.

‘You see that light at the end? I do too. What are the chances?’ She dances.

We don’t speak after that. I don’t ask her what’s on her mind. She doesn’t ask, ‘Where is your mind?’

I tend to stray, don’t I? Do you mind?

We don’t speak. Together we breathe. Like ghosts, whispers of a symphony.

Until she looks up at me. ‘We won’t speak of love or of lost forevers. Because we don’t do that. You and me,  we are congruent beings. We don’t believe, we make believe.

‘So I’ll say this. Say it like it is. To your eyes and those wrinkles on your forehead you despise. I see you. And I’m grateful you see me.’

And then we melt into the ground like wet sand. We don’t speak. Together, we breathe. Like ghosts, whispers of something extraordinary.

Listen

‘Listen.’

I tuck in my chin. I sit in sin. Gliding though the crowd, warmed by the scarlet on my cheek. Walking on the bad roads, they look like hastily stitched up skin.

I look at my friend. The unforgiving minx. Past, they call her. I call her a fucking inconvenience.

Why? I ask. Why did I break? Others bend under rejection, I break.
‘Break?’ Yes, break. ‘Oh, give me a break.’

Why is he here now? What’s left to hear now? No, not hear, listen. Here and now.

There’s noise everywhere I can’t even hear the sound of my feet in my worn out black flats.

How will they know if I’m stomping away or shuffling to safety?

I wallow in sin, stomping and shuffling in the noisy bay. And then I hear him. Hear him take a breath as the air around him wavers and he says again.

‘Listen.’

So I do. Of course I do. I listen.

In Between Lives: Epilogue

5th August, 1987.

“And you? What are you?”

Her grin diminishes into that sarcastic half-smile and she shrugs.

“I’m nobody.”

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I have always been in between things. Between names, identities, lives.

I just wasn’t always aware of it.

The tempestuous waves beneath splash on my feet again, the railing is getting too slippery to hold on.

I stand clutching onto the railing of The Blackburn Bridge, clutching onto my life, gazing at the monstrous river beckoning to me—unfriendly but with the promise of oblivion.

I ran away from the hospital, leaving a sleeping Kevin at my bedside.

Kevin. My heart aches.

Which one of us did he like?

Which one of us is me?

I’ve always inhabited the gray area between black and white. Splitting my soul, splitting my mind, splitting my life.

Just Marjorie apologized profusely in the hospital. Kevin told me I was now safe.

They don’t understand. It was never about blame or safety.

The only person who came close to understanding was Emily Dickinson.

I think she knew what it was like to not be afraid of death because you’d already had the life sucked out of you. She knew what it was like to be dead and stuck in the world of living.

I’m like the decaying flower you preserve in notebooks. You can delay my disintegration, but with time, I will wither away, for I truly died long ago.

I tilt my head towards the sky and try to remember my mother. All I can recall is that she was always crying and that she wore the scent of lavender.

Today, I tell myself, today I will fly.

Beatrice Ella Jones was alone.

Beatrice Ella Jones was broken.

Beatrice Ella Jones was me.

I jump.