I hope you didn’t come here for me. I’d like to kiss you thick like rich honey just to rip the sky like thunder from your chest. I am not the one you pray for, not the one who holds your breath between her legs and falls like rain. I have been here since the birth of a time forgotten, holding my hands in my hands and my tongue in my teeth. A soft succulent pool held at the tips of knives. When I move I move away, when I touch the warmth within me flares and then disintegrates. When the storms approach, the silence and the atmosphere grow heavy as vines. The blackbirds fly disoriented but they fly in clumps all together, wings beating stark up against wings.
I hope you didn’t think I was some kind of supernatural creature who keeps watch in the night, who chases monsters from underneath the bed. I can only navigate when I navigate blindness, feeling the walls along the edges of your insecurities helps push me against my own. We don’t know how to perceive sadness until we know how it tastes on the bloodied lips of a love who left every kind of offering at our feet. Until we swell with a desire so crippling it claws in our bellies as we crawl naked in the street. These are the little necks, these are the little stems, these are the undressings which weep for eternity inside the soul. We cannot always be light or darkness. Sometimes we are satellites made of eyes orbiting both. Sometimes we have to lose our minds, sever the ties between the nightmare and the scream.
They read my words and think they are mine but there is no way that can be true. I don’t think like this. I don’t sound or fit together like this. This is not me, this is me trying to get to me. Can you not see that? That every time I approach the writing the writing throws me up against the concrete. These words do not want to give themselves to me.
This is why I am gentle. This is why I approach with folded hands, skinned knees, hollow bones. What I seek is unhinged around a dark corner which moves away when I get close. I search for cracks in the ceiling skin, faces in the mirror. I count out loud for the way thunder forces open the fists of the rain. I taste the tremble in your fingers as they spill wet heat upon my legs. There is no mystery in doing the work and yet the scratching underneath the surface is everywhere. I once heard a wise man say that a writer just observes what other people don’t take the time to notice. Maybe that is even closer to the truth than we would dare admit.
The way we salivate over satin flesh and annihilation. The way we don’t notice anything anymore. We don’t feel the earth sliding off the edge of the precipice, the fire in the sickness coughing up the back of your throat. The way you turn away from me without moving a muscle as the red evening stiffens in the center of my cemetery chest. We pack our eyes with mud instead of drinking one another.
And so my eyes do their best to become the words you need. I let the secrets in my body scream. Here are the break-away walls of my life, it seems. My small heart beats. My instrument.
There have been chance moments within all of this, moments of madness and grace,
which I fear I will surely forget. But for now I am here with you and the twilight is sliding across your face. For now your eyes holding mine and the way our fingers become whispers become the lengthening of necks become flesh over the fragile bones of dreams come back to life, for now I will feel everything. I will shatter and I will expose and I will untie all the things about myself that I have kept bound in the dark halls of my petrified being for ages. So that when this moment has gone, when it has become part of the next, and these small things become smaller and smaller still as they walk the eternal distance of time, I will have been made into everything I could have become. Because I let it all in and I let it all go and this is the magnificence, and this is the miracle of the blood of the life we are invited to know, when life is allowed to open and to close and to flow.
I am learning to look back and see that every cycle, every phase of the things I have been through, they each needed the space and time and energy they needed. That is simply the truth.
There was nothing I could have rushed through and nothing I could have prevented because I was unfolding in two ways at once: in love and in fear of love. And these two streams were crisscrossing each other all the time exactly as they were set in motion. I made choices, of course, but each was made from that intersection of love and fear of love.
I can see that now, however briefly, however fleeting that clarity may be, I can see my life, my love and fear-of-love story, as whole. As complete in the way it met and did not meet my expectations of myself.
There is a place which is a way, which is a way of thinking about these things without judgment. It’s a center, a balance, we can seek out if we can trust ourselves enough that it exists. This place within is where we cut ourselves free, let ourselves off the hook for whatever we believe the past held for us. What it gave to us and what we gave in return can be what they are.
It is really tough to dwell within that clarity and it moves ever in and out of focus. But through some kind of madness or miracle, it can be done.