Tracing the outline of my open lips as I stand before the floor length mirror, I imagine pressing my dark eyelashes together and leaving this blue electric mind for just long enough to go beautifully numb. Not the kind of numb where you don’t feel anything at all but the kind where you still feel the warm pressure of fingers and it doesn’t frighten you, doesn’t hurt, doesn’t tempt you back to the kind of life that feels like plastic sheets over everything you were told you could touch.
A kiss the taste of jasmine and warm vanilla before everything became so sterile.
It’s not that I don’t want to reveal myself it’s that I’m terrified there is no way to warn you of what’s beneath this withering skin. We are all pretending, peeling, receding, removing ourselves one thumbnail, one fang, one whisper, one blink of a down turned eye at a time even as we dig our heels in and try to stay on the sane side of honest.
To move forward is to slip screaming under the ice, to break is to relieve the ones who don’t believe in love. I don’t want to pour what’s left of the ink into half the words that lay themselves undressed at my fingertips but this isn’t me, if I knew what was I would try to protect you from it.
As I move my fingers down along the soft curves of my body, there are shadows bending over the back of this tired day when lighting a cigarette is the sweet claw of knowing I don’t quite fit in, the inconvenience of my mismatched presence here is fading but palpable. It’s possible to feel at the same time like raven wings the breadth of the clear midnight sky and like even the gentlest hands would fall short of opening your barbed wire heart. I know this now.
What I am in the dark is condemned and torn away from me in the light, and in the glare I forget where my feet belong: which hours of the night am I, which collections of which moments, which seasons of which days? I try to console myself by remembering it’s not me they want anyway, it’s something beyond any of us, something vastly, infinitely more loving and severely less infatuated with being seen, being heard, being accepted.
Some kind of sacred alien thing so fierce, so substantial, so insatiable it devours itself and continues to exist. A hunger without the terrible pain of going hungry. A thirst that needs only itself, never goes in search of a drink beyond its own infinite pools. Something that pleasures us to tears of everlasting fulfillment.
Sometimes when I am stuck, when the urge to open up is butterflies thrumming in nets in my ivory chest, I think of the way you handle everything – people, poetry, phrases, books, rejection – so lightly, so effortlessly, so graciously and gracefully. I imagine the warmth of you and the world sleeping in your benevolent hands and wonder how you would handle me if my breasts were fire instead of flesh, if my insides were venom instead of honey.
There is a kind of affection that grows its own womb out of its own tenderness and hangs it in the center of the hands of its creator; I have felt it, cradled it, made love to it in dreams that dissolve in the dust of morning sunlight falling warmly through the curtains. You and I in this makeshift house far away from home. We were made to bow down to a thing we cannot grasp even as it holds us firmly from within, and yet how far we have fallen, how lost we have become.