happy anniversary, my love.
happy anniversary, my love.
a slightly older poem
at the time, i didn’t realize it would be our last kiss.
We parted tensely this morning, myself escaping to a scalding shower where I tried to drown myself, leaving you mid-argument on the rumpled sheets. As I turn the tap on, I know you’re sitting on my barren bed, eyes glassy, staring sadly off to some distant maybe. I let the water burn my skin lobster-red, washing off the touch of your skin. I can sense you in the next room over, pressing your face to the fabric of my cast-off clothing, desperate for the warmth of my scent. I feel nauseous. I take far too long to shower, craning for the sound of you through the paper-thin walls. I don’t hear you leave, but you aren’t in the room when I return. I hear only the ceaseless creaking of the porch swing below. I hate it. I hate you for making that incessant invasive sound, filling my ears and my brain and my overflowing mouth. Angrily, I strip the sheets, the only remnants of our lovemaking the night before. The creaking continues. In a fevered craze, I desperately tidy the room until there is no memory of our bodies, only the stale neatness of a cheap motel room. Unable to stall any longer, I descend to find your sister on the porch swing instead of you, the perceived maker of that awful sound. I hate you still for it, irrationally. It is ceaseless. Breakfast is a terse affair - in an attempt to reconcile god-knows-what you pile on hurt defenses, accusatory apologies. My mood grows blacker, and I wrench my feet away from your consoling hand. Outside, it begins to rain, the monochrome clouds melding into the slate-grey lake, water and sky indistinguishable from one another. I feel sick, a venomous black slime coating the inside of my body. All I can taste is burnt coffee and bile, and no matter how many blankets I swathe around myself, I can’t get warm. Your incessant declarations of love leave me uneasy, unhappy, and ill. I remember waking in the still dark of the innumerable hours of the early morning, the vision of another’s caress burned on my brain and body as your rough hands pull my hips to yours. All I can remember is that insidious dream, and the hazy moment thinking your caresses were his, the irrational repulsion I felt when I realized they were not. I shudder at the thought of your touch, the claustrophobic bars of your fingers holding me down beneath the cold grey water that fills my choking lungs. I resent it when you ask if I’m alright.
"Are you okay?" I watch a droplet of coffee slide down my dirty mug, staining it sickly brown.
"…..Yeah." My answers all come five seconds too late.
"Are we okay?”
I consider telling you not to be so apocalyptic, but I can’t help but think it doesn’t make a difference. What does a week and a half matter in the end, really? Soon I will be long gone, leaving that same burnt taste in your mouth, the same cloying dirty-grey bathwater in your lungs. I will be glad to be free, a caged bird that has long tired of singing. But you will cry when you forget the way my sleeping body feels, the way my eyes catch yours, lazy and laconic. Your sister is long gone, but the wind outside rocks the porch swing, ceaselessly, inescapably, infinitely creaking.
i am reading your girlfriends poetry at one in the morning and understanding how you fell in love with her. through her words of course because i can feel myself understanding what it means to love this girl to whom i paid 20 dollars for a drawing so that you can fly across the country to see her when really all i want to do is know what it feels like to fall asleep in your arms. and to have you kiss me after we fuck because as fun and wonderful as it is to share your body with someone else when you are sitting on the floor with them at three in the morning drinking shitty coffee and talking about donald ducks family tree and laughing too much all you really want to do is be kissing them. which is kind of a state of being when i am with you. i dont know what this means or how to interpret it because i dont want to think about things like that. there is a little box inside of me that is closed right now and it will be closed for maybe a long time. i dont really know if i like you or if i like like you in the third-grade way but i want to touch your hair most of the time and i think youre very interesting even if you can be a little pretentious sometimes. i like the way you talk about far away things. i watched your hands try to describe the way bread in iran tastes and im glad someone else in the world understands how important it is to talk about things like different bread and different toilets especially after you fucked for maybe three minutes max. and youre lying there together naked and not particularly afraid of your body but also wishing you hadnt lied again because you have this stupid habit of lying to boys. but you did it again and you cant help but wonder why you dont think you deserve it because of course you do of course you do of course you do. you didnt deserve breakfast though three years ago and for a moment you look at your stomach and remember what it felt like to stand up and have your mind leave your body for a moment to be totally empty and full of birds and light and air. it was beautiful. you were beautiful. but you is a girl named maria and she’s not there right now or at least very pointedly trying not to think about a boy named daniel that she used to or maybe still does love. she did a pretty good job of it i think. this thinker being the girl named cat who has just shared her body with someone who is not quite a stranger but not quite a friend because he does not always text her back even though he has read her texts. but he is a beautiful boy who understands what it means to sit on the floor and listen to records and also to listen to the sound of after-records, the soft scritchy scratchy something that comes in the nothingness after. when the air is filled with light and music and smoke and the pattern of flowers on his lostandfound furniture cat feels particularly inclined to touch his skin kiss his lips hold hold hold holdholdhodlhodl this boy this beautiful beautiful boy in her arms. there is always the moment after the first moment he hold her when he pulls her especially close and tells her how good it feels to hold her and she knows in this moment that he is thinking about another girl named blare who is the exact opposite of cat but she can feel his eyelashes (butterfly kisses) on her shoulder as he closes his eyes and she knows that for a moment he is pretending that she is the girl named blare in his arms, even if he wont admit it. and she won’t ever admit that theres company in this bed and theyre loving by proxy. one to cling and one to forget but there are four bodies in this bed and god is it cloying. it stops them from touching each other after in the lazy laconic way they did before with the light and music and the smoke. their high has worn off by the time they are done and the record has passed the point of silence and the air is too harsh to trace the whorls in a stranger;s skin so instead they lie there and talk about the countries they came from. there is something comforting in their foreignness.