It’s in the way the snow is coming down like white crystal rain, nestling against the statues of angels in the garden. I can feel the cold sloping off the window glass and onto my skin. Did you know that is where I came from. Off in the distant dark I can hear my footsteps falling soft as feathers on an unsure path. In the end there is no end and the beginning is an illusion, an impossibility. Life and death being spiraled and incomplete. You and I entwined like perfect circles, ringed for a time undetermined.
In the corners of my mind which are just at the start of lighting up like sunrise, the life I meant to choose but couldn’t reaches out its never-aging hand. There is a child who can only dream of what she could become but didn’t dare. She is the eye of eternity. I can see the rainbowed wallpaper and the canopy of unicorns in clouds. Have I told you that the dreams are returning. I sleep in the night and I am awake all day, as though I am learning what was intended.
I once heard that each snowflake is unlike any of the others. I watch as they fall so close to each other but rarely touch. Have you read Sappho. Have you ever held a heart in your palm and trembled. Thought perhaps it was your own in a time long ago. Everything you run from stays until you do. I light a candle and sip the prayers in my chest. I was never taught quite correctly. What I thought was escape was a trap and I believed. Can you imagine such a fragile thing. Maybe if you try you could. Just because you now see the bars of the cage doesn’t mean you know how to leave.
Like a tiny foal on wobbly little legs, I stand in front of him tired and undone. He wants to turn up the music and down the whiskey and I want nothing more than to play the role I have played along with my whole life. I can hang, sir. I can match you pace for pace until I can’t. Almost certain I want all the way in, which is not entirely true but my brain is a matrix of well coordinated lies I mistake for truth, all manner of exaggerated distortions buzzing around each other into a maddening blur of silent shriek. He looks into my eyes and tells me I am beautiful. It feels like warm honey for a split second and then rolls to the back of my rumbling thoughts. I hold onto it with all that’s left of my withering might.
If I make it through this night without poisoning myself it will be the fourteenth in a row not that I’m counting except that I am absolutely counting the days the evenings the hours the minutes. Not always. But sometimes. And those times are so loud I can feel them beating against my organs all the way up through my throat. Thoughts are knives and try as I believe I must, part of me is on my knees begging for the pierce of their stabbed gushing release. I just want the pain to stop and I don’t know how to pull that off because I don’t know where it starts. I don’t know why. And the why, though, that’s the thing. That’s the holy grail I build up in my mind for better or for worse.
If only I could understand this shit I could pull it apart, lay it all out on the table of my manic mind and re-structure it. I am a fool sure, yes, but I am not entirely ridiculous, am I? Addiction is a motherfucker. It’s got sexy claws and glistening fangs which are laced with a euphoric kind of heavenly abandonment. You want out, sweetness? Come here, baby, I’ll get you out. That’s right, angel, give me those pretty hopeful bambi eyes of yours and all that virgin flesh, inside, inside, inside in dark places and spilling out all over. Drink me, suck me, fuck me, I promise I’ll give you everything you crave so badly you can’t breathe or think or move or speak. Poor pathetic ritualed thing.
He has always been the kind of guy who rolls with the punches and I adore that about him. The cold doesn’t phase him nor does the heat just as long as he can be wild. He sips red wine and lights up his fancy cigar as I sit by the fire smoking a cigarette, wondering if any of this matters at all in the end. The music is so good that somewhere inside of it all of my questions dissipate like a fog gently lifting off of a wide dark sea. I kiss him hard and sweet and proper. He tastes like a past I am trying to run from but when he lets me ride him through the fear I come out like a feathered angel creature, floating high on the other side.
Sirens scream off in the distance as the blackout trees stretch empty toward the heather gray sinking sky. A lady neighbor yells something out her front door to her husband who is bundled up so tight in a coat, scarf, and hat that he can’t hear a word she’s saying. I smile to myself watching because domesticity is so often comical but no one seems to notice because they are so damn stressed out about the next email they need to send or the kombucha whatever the fuck they need to choke down before they run off to whatever else it is they do next. I sip my tea and feel a little judgey and then feel a little bad about it but then really not too bad at all.
A scattered electric pink stripe washes across the cloud cluttered horizon and suddenly what’s left of the twinkle lights along the block blink to life despite the razor cold. The lady neighbor yells another something I can’t make out but it is surely in earnest and the husband just lumbers up the driveway with their empty recyclable can, staring dead ahead at his open garage. People are absolutely hilarious, and oblivious to it all the while, which makes it even more so.
I haven’t had a lick of booze in thirteen days and while in some moments it feels like I could shred my own skin from the inside out, I couldn’t care less in this one. I sleep like smoothest, warmest silk and the anxiety has all but plummeted to damn near nothing which is wild because I never imagined that such a thing was even possible. It’s bananas the things we tell ourselves we need to survive until one day we give it a go without and find we are better off entirely in ways we never would have thought of before. We think we know so much. We think we know it all but really we should stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to get shit right we were never taught right to begin with.
I’m reading a book about love and limerence. It’s a real torture for some people, to live with a sickening all-consuming obsession like that. To want someone so badly that you can’t eat or sleep or concentrate. So terribly that every time you so much as brush your gritty teeth you want to cry just facing yourself in the mirror all alone. You want to carve their one silly name into your poor weepy bones if only for one chance that their eyes might drink you in just one more time. It’s rather strange, really. The debilitating tragedies we let corrupt otherwise beautiful things.
I can stay dead center in the middle of the chaos, baby, I’ve done it before and I can do it again. As long as it takes. As deep as the goddamn current drags. There may be tears. There may be sweat. There may be blood. There just may be the greatest fucking moments of your life spent unwavering in the quiet calm as the world around you spins so fast the others are slung right off the map of the rest of your life.
I’ve been lied to, angel. Stabbed in the back, cheated on, torn into ten thousand bits as though none of any of me mattered. I have been so terrified that the sun could show me nothing but sickness. I have been hurt and hurt doesn’t even begin to cover it, you know what I mean. I bet you do. I am, in fact, so sure you understand that I don’t even feel afraid to tell you anything because I can see you clear as glistening golden daybreak. You in your beautiful busted up humanity.
Pose for me. Kneel for me. Turn toward me and away again. Take your hands and touch yourself. I’ve seen just about everything, sweetness, the last thing I need right now is someone too afraid to ruin it. Pour your soul into something which begs for you to finally fall all the way apart. Do not ever look back. Do not ever let up. I can exist here in the eye of the storm for centuries. I’ve already done it. And here you are in the palm of the words which I write just now. You come to me. You come for me. You bow that reverent splendid head of yours and read.
Caressing a fresh smoke between my lips, I suck a beautiful deep drag and savor the way it clutches at the insides of my tender lungs. Delicacies. Harsh pressed against the helplessness of soft. The fire is blazing hot as my eyes take it in, the dancing scorch of orange flames which lick the wood and crackle with a low simmering noise. We play old records and talk about what it’s like for me to trade sickness for health. Self harm for clarity and affection. It is almost frightening how alien it feels. I am still working on how to align all the complicated parts of myself. I am still searching but I am less deranged about it.
I dig the richness of the sound of vinyl. I run my fingers through my hair and wonder about my own sound. I am curious about my own inner tapestry in a way I struggled to fathom before. It would feel poetic I guess if I didn’t have the itch beneath my skin to annihilate myself and everything around me. But the fucked up thing is, that is poetry to me, too.
They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and I think that’s just about as true a statement as there could ever be. There is the reverse way of saying the same thing which is that until it’s gone you don’t know what you’ve got. You see it depends what’s gone. Was it good for you or bad to begin with and how did you decide. Can you trust yourself to decide.
Can you re-imagine a future where you become someone else entirely, or maybe more accurately, you become less of what everyone else seems to expect of you and more of the self you already are, though it is too often quivering like an abandoned animal left for dead. It’s a bit of a bitch to get sober, depending of course on where you start, but if you do manage to do it, a lot of shit comes to the surface which you had until the present moment been able to numb or bludgeon back to invisibility, as it were. The trouble is just because that shit was invisible does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that it did not still exist at all.
I pick up a heavy metal tool and slowly readjust the logs, think about what it means to breathe. To be here at all among the wilderness, the uncertainty. I know it’s random and undeserved. Nobody asked to be born into this madness so I will thank anyone who seems to think I should be better at this to fuck all the way off. As I scratch and push the coals around, suddenly just the right amount of oxygen rushes underneath and sets the whole thing raging bright, flashing and hot as the light reflects upon my face. It is so glaring and fierce it almost scares me. I take the last drag of my cigarette before tossing it into the fire. It burns to ash in no time flat. Everything that ever hurt me seems to sing in the hissing of the wood. I feel the eyes of future me turn black and white and back again. I watch like a stone and stare right back.
What to do with the rose blushed horizon line which skims across the water in my winter veins. How to inhabit the warmth of this strange contentment. Without scratching at the walls inside. Absent the agitation. Independent of the crush. Without tearing into my secret sick reserves. All of the shadows I worship, the beautiful pain I seek. If I let go of the rage, who would I become and how would I go about unthreading trickery from truth. What if the bottom of the ocean suddenly reversed its mind, out of nowhere became infinite sky. I can almost reach it as though bending my body back into the forward motion of time. If I trusted the color in my own eyes was meant entirely for me. A silent universe spins soft against my thin-ribbed imagination. How cold this wandering, how glittered, how pristine. Footsteps in the open air. All the world brighter. And even the chaos is, at least for now, clean.
Even the snow is a story. The navy blue sea sky above the white gray houses, waiting. Cold floors and vacant air in my lungs, waiting. Do you remember what I said to you, my sweet sweet story-burdened creature with your beaten heavy wings. Inside the blanket where the darkness takes you over. Wrapped like a softened animal, shivering. Your eyes burning with that desperate haze which glazes your soul with tears like a bowl shines wet before it can be ready. I opened my mouth and swallowed each last drop of the panic you held tight in your clenched stomach. I told you the morning was on fire. That if you hold on you will not be able to stop the colors from coming for you. If you stay with me, every shade of every shade will come and come and come and you will hear them without even trying. I offer you my tongue and you take it. I offer you my hands and you take them as if you didn’t even know. I can feel the warmth melting like ice drips from spring trees between us. The story is the story. Your body, your mind, your soul, your skin and speech and dreams. Your cravings, your teeth. Your tired eyes and messed up needs. These words you have let seep inside of your blood and sail through your blue veins like it’s nothing but a moment dying or saved. Or both. It’s all a story, my precious precious thing. Even the snow, falling just now all around you. Alone with me. We are a story. Waiting.
She never shows her face. I can’t help what happens next – I get jealous. I mean I wonder why, of course, why she never makes an actual appearance. Is she afraid to be seen or is it about freedom. From judgement by this cruel world. Is it that if we could go out there faceless, bodyless, we could bear to spill our secrets in a way which also allows us to leave them behind. The sweet benevolence of detachment. You can say anything and nobody can pin it to your flesh. It isn’t nailed to your bone.. If my body is withheld from your view, from your touch, from your gaze, you perhaps imagine it more beautiful than it could ever be. And in the anonymity, I have you clutched in my false hands. I can say a word and wrap my mouth around all the fears you swallow about your own inadequacies. Your own prayers and needs become mine as you desire not to see my eyes but in them the reflection of your own. Making me pretty makes you pretty. Making me the devil makes you hell. I have been wanted, desired, fantasized about. Jerked off to. Didn’t think I’d say that did you. Didn’t think a lot about me as you sit calculating. Flush with empty power. Twisted inside a fantasy web or your own prismatic design. You will never see her face, I bet. I bet she keeps it hidden for all eternity and thus will remain flawless, unchanged, untainted, no matter how much time passes by. No matter the weather. I wonder if she is hiding or if it is part of a truer kind of revelation. I admire her commitment. But first. First I’m jealous.
The truth is I thought it would all be different. That it would end or not end and I wouldn’t care either way. It’s so scary to believe it might matter. It is so frightening to know I could be present with all of this and not numb it out. Not choke it off. Like that’s an option. One I always thought was kinda bullshit. Who doesn’t want the fuck out of this place more than half the time? Most of us do I think. We have not learned to live only to run, run, run. Bury, hide, lie. I see her smile in the bathroom mirror hanging over the sink. I see the lakes of gray pain in her wide wet eyes. Touch the glass. Fall through to the other side of the mouth of the fear. I like the ones who dare at least to destroy the distractions. I have been so good at building them all my life. And underneath this white dome sky, breathing in the damp cold mean January air, I can sense those distractions for the ghosts they really are. Not out there or in here. But oh so haunting close by.
Hot tea pressed into the melting throat of a cold, cold night. Breath of vapors, bone thin ghost. I drink and, hand to hand, we touch. Heady hissing heat. So much to lay to rest, my sweet, so much to bed for the last, last time. My head is clearer than it’s ever been. Scorch like honey candle wax. A tug at the wrist and my knees drop as summer meadows bow beneath the moon. My heart a crimson cage, blossoms. Rich. Thick with roseblood soft as silk. He tastes me in my dark imaginings. He slides those hands upon me everywhere and I fall arched against his tousled sheets.
Out beyond the winter snow, descending heavy upon a distant hollow , the perfumed peace I once embodied long ago. Soft with graysoaked abandon. I dig my needy fingers in. To have been a thread I’d forgotten I pulled and I pulled with my milky kitten teeth. Wild huntress eyes, naive. At play and crouched, determined. Tiny tempt. Pitter patter paw print beats. Little savvy scratch-tongued thing. Claws at the back of my tenderest voice. My desire soars high on a splintered wing, far above the white wide sea. Icy, jagged. Illicit and deep.