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Half of me is sick of this. I want to shrug off this suffocating mood and march back into the sunlight.
The other half? The other half wants to rip me into dripping shreds, to smear my blood on the walls and let it pool on the bathroom floor. I want to shatter my bones, grind them to dust, toss them from the window, and laugh when the wind throws them back in my eyes.
I want to beat myself senseless against you--send us both to hell. But you don't believe in that, so I'll meet you in oblivion.
Turn off the bathroom light and sink into the bathwater.
You are delicious. Dark, velvety, sinful. I roll your name around my tongue. Smooth, smooth, smooth, but it burns going down.
You make me dizzy as my first taste of alcohol. The world tilts and rocks and threatens to hurl us away, and I just smile. I just smile, smile, smile. You are my buzzzzzzzzz.
You are woven into my blood like a virus, replacing my cells with your own. Call me dead. There is no more me. Only you. You, you, you.
You frighten me.
I love you.
I leave myself behind me.
Always shedding wisps of me as I walk--clinging to the air, the earth, the walls. I will always haunt your skin, always kiss your lips. Feel my fingertips at the back of your neck, ghosts of what you miss.
I am everywhere I've been--damned spot you can't wash clean. There is no holy water for me. No priest to make me leave.
You are changed because I touched you, new because I smiled. I am the sin that can never be forgiven. God help us both, but I can't help what I've been.
I can feel you, dragon-like.
I turn my head, and I see your claws. In the edges of my vision, I see your mouth pouring smoke over my shoulder. Your wings surround me, cover me, hide me from the world. From the sun.
You are wrapped around me. Protecting. Possessing.
I want your fire. I want the deep dark spaces of your mind, your bitterest pain. I want to steal that pain. I want to tear it from you, burn it up inside myself.
Powerful, you say. So powerful. Made for something bigger, and all I want is you.
Neither was perfect, but both were in love. So very much in love.
A silly little girl who ran from reality and hid in fairy tales.
"Don't!" he'd say. "Stay with me."
And she would cry and cry, never able to explain why he was so much better.
An angry little boy who liked to be alone and thought humanity was a waste of time.
"No!" she'd tell him. "Every life is beautiful."
And he would scoff and laugh and turn away, never able to understand her.
They were very much in love, but could never agree what love meant.
I remember you, red-haired girl, just as fiery and fierce as your red hair suggested. You left your legs un-shaved, and men loved you anyway. You marked them with bottle caps on their key chains, and they had no idea they had been claimed.
"I am hers," the bottle caps declared as they clinked against the keys. "Hers. Hers. Hers."
You were everything about me I hated and everything about me I loved. You were everything I wished I had and everything I hope I will never be.
I remember you.
I will not do what you did.
I want to take back what I said. I want to erase it from our minds, leave nothing behind but eraser dust that I can blow off the paper with a kiss. I can't though. We both know that. And I wouldn't anyway. I had to say it. It needed to be said. Because I was right.
But, love, I'm afraid... we're rotting inside. I can smell the stench of our rotting relationship, and the vultures have begun to circle. The jackals are laughing at us.
"We're waiting for you!" they cackle.
Will we just roll over and die?
It is... simpler without you here, more peaceful. I can't say I miss you.
I do. I miss you. My heart has threatened to leave me and fly away into the east and live traitorously in your chest. I bind my breast with tape and tell it to stay. Stay. Just stay with me a little longer.
Honey, honey, honey, can you feel it? That bright bloom like spilt blood across the earth between us? Golden blood. Silver blood. The blood of magical things.
I should have taken your advice. I should have given up before it was too late.
We'll sneak into the woods late at night, collect dew on our shoes, and watch with hushed thoughts as the deer drink from the stream. They are a mirror of a more innocent us.
We'll light candles, and the flames will flicker without wind. We'll let the fires lick the salt off our fingers, leaving behind blackened skin that will be whole in the morning.
We will touch the stars with our glances, and they will kiss our faces without fear. They will welcome us to the universe--new and foolish infants playing with something so much bigger than ourselves.
Her hands were never still. Even in her sleep, her fingers twitched. She was always absently tapping on a table, fiddling with her hair, twisting shreds of paper into spirals. When she was born, the nurse looked at her tiny hands and declared she had a musician's fingers.
Of all the women he had loved, it was her fingers that he remembered--tracing the lines of his face, his shoulders, scratching gently at his scalp. He could still remember the ghostly touch of her hands memorizing the geometry of freckles on his skin.
It was her hands he missed most.
I think it's happening again.
First, the fear. The crying. The begging. The heartbreak. Don't do it. Don't do it, please, please, please. Let me help you.
Then the exhaustion. Dry puffy eyes. Headache. Empty. Sleep.
At last, the anger. The resentment. The pulling away. This is the moment that the heart hardens. It has learned to build a barrier, to keep it safe, whole, free of the seeping wounds you cause so often.
I can't take this anymore. I can't do this again. Please, please, just get away from me.
And I know, it will start all over again.
I had such dreams for today.
I planned to wake up early, trek into the desert and the high fall grasses and dance in the rising sun. The world is so beautiful in the morning. The air is cool and damp and mysterious. I just wanted to add something of my own to its beauty. I wanted to celebrate the glory of being alive.
I wanted to remind myself that I
Alive. Living. I am a wonderful and precious thing, full of potential, of the ability to make up for my faults.
But I stayed inside and wept.
I keep dreaming about that Persian boy.
Nearly two years after our three month (four month?) relationship, he still shows up to give me that don't-embarrass-me glare. He's still in my head, ordering me not to do anything stupid, to look at things logically.
In my dreams, we're surrounded by books I can't touch because they're fictional. He leads me to the philosophy section, and I can't help but stare longingly at the metaphysical (also known as that witch stuff) section on the opposite side.
Am I once again allowing a boy to tell me who I am?
There is dirty laundry everywhere, even spilling out of the bedroom into the living room. Dirty dishes. Empty coke cans. Used paper towels. And books. Books on every available surface.
A girl--a woman if she really deserves the title--sits half-curled on the only couch and stares blankly at the mess around her. She wants an escape. From herself. From the hours of 4 A.M. to 6 P.M. She wishes she could sleep until he came home. Wishes she could stay in bed, in a drugged stupor, itchy and tingling and completely devoid of thought.
that you shush me when I ask questions
or just don't answer
that you slap me, though you're only joking
that you think you can tell me what friends to have
that you call me retarded
that you read my texts
but get mad when I read yours
that you're cruel when you're unhappy.
that you want to be cuddled at night
that you named your car
that you let me sleep with my stuffed animals
that your day doesn't start until you see me
that you kiss me on the way out
that you kept my purity ring
that even after we fight, you still hold me close.
It was the smell of broken and oozing plants that seeped out of our pores long after we had washed the green stains from our skin. People sniffed the air around us and wrinkled their noses.
"Have you been camping?"
"Oh... I thought... Well, never mind." and they left us alone, still sniffing.
It was our secret--how our legs and backs and arms came to be scratched by thorns, and how those rock shaped bruises imprinted themselves on our hips.
"Let's leave again." I begged. "Let's disappear this time and never come back."
And you agreed.
Strands of hair clinging to her neck with sweat. The gentle ticking of her pulse against my lips. The soft gilding of skin over her ribcage. Her stomach muscles taunt as she arches, gasping, gasping.
Turquoise eyes. Pale pink lips.
Sucking. Licking. Biting.
I am lost. Insane. I remember only flashes, smudges, of my surroundings. The smell of her, the sound of her, the warmth of her drives me crazy. I am drunk, dizzy.
"Who are you?"
She laughs. "You'll find me. You'll find me."
"Where?" I want to ask, but she is gone, and I am awake once more.
Fragile. Breakable. Beautiful.
That is life.
A stained glass window; so easily shattered; so difficult to make; so lovely to see. The light shines through, and now you know what it means to be inside a rainbow. Dust motes, graced with color, dance around you like infant angels. Be a child again, for just this moment, and dance with them. Laugh. Enjoy the sun-baked stones beneath your bare feet.
There is magic is this. Magic in the small miraculous beauty of being caught in warm summer rain, of brushing the fingers of a stranger, of falling asleep with you.
I want a mentor.
A woman just past her middle-ages, perhaps. With beads in her hair that click-clack together when she moves. She will have strong hands, hands that have worked and created. She will understand magic much better than I. She will answer the questions I'm too afraid to ask.
"Oh, honey," (she'll call me honey and sweetheart and darling) "the world ain't just about you," (she's from the south, because the bayou is where magic ferments and fertilizes) "and it ain't just about that husband of yous eitha."
And I will understand, finally, who I am.
Heaven must be very boring.
To spend all eternity in one place, with the same old people, knowing everything and never learning anything new. Terrible. The thought of it stretches on and on, gray, gray, gray. That was the first thing I decided I disliked about Christianity. A Sunday School epiphany.
But perhaps heaven is being on drugs. Ecstasy. Lsd. The world spinning and whirling, and time, time crawling so slow but vanishing in a blink. The sky falling down to swallow you whole.
"Don't do drugs!" the preacher screams, and I know he wants heaven all to himself.
Sometimes while I sleep, I forget to breathe.
Not in that snoring, clogged throat, apnea sort of way, but as if my breath got softer and softer and shorter and shorter until I just wasn't breathing anymore. It wakes me up, and I am paralyzed by the amount of fear and adrenaline coursing through me. It takes me a moment to calm down and realize what's wrong. And then, with so much effort it's painful, I make my lungs start working again.
Sometimes, when I'm doing nothing out of the ordinary, my heart beats hard enough to hurt.
The sky is gray, but comforting. It is the kind of sky that soothes. She watches us little mortals cry and scream and rage, and she coos to us.
"Shh. Shh, darling ones. Shh. Today you can start over. Today you can be new."
We stare at her a moment, too hurt and confused to hear.
"Shhh," she says again. "I will clean away your blood. I will soak the blue from your bruises. Your cheeks will be wet only with rain. No tears. No tears."
Thank you, Mother Sky. I hurt myself too often. Today, I will be healed.
That half smile, pulled up on the side of your dimple. The clicking of your teeth bite, bite, biting against your lips rings. Made my skin tingle.
"How ya doin', sweetheart?" I loved to hear you call me sweetheart. To see you hover protectively while I rode my high and shivered, shuddered, trembled with not having you for my own.
I realized much too late that my name for you was cruel. Sunshine. Sunshine. Sunshine.
But truly, you warmed me. And truly, I miss you. And truly, I hope you're happier than I could make you.
I have a bad feeling.
I wish I had sewn protection symbols into your pockets, even though you'd be mad if you ever found them. And at the same time, I wish I had never learned protection symbols at all. Ignorance is bliss.
Temporary. That's how I look at us now. Isn't that silly? We're husband and wife, but I see us ending somewhere down the line. As much as I fought it, I have come to accept that the end will be my fault. Somehow, in someway, my fault. Just like everything else.
I don't want to be temporary.
I had a gift. Or a curse. Or just an infallible way of reading body language.
I knew exactly when a couple would break up. I knew exactly how. I knew the way each person felt about the other. I was never wrong.
I even knew the end to my own relationships. Tall boy? Two miserable years. Baaad kisser. Persian boy: February. He was too controlling. Green eyes? Green eyes... With Green eyes, I looked and I looked, but I never saw our end.
But now I'm scared. You will hate me. You will leave me. I will be alone.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
The water has filled the sink. It crawled towards the edge and drips to the warped linoleum floor.
The knife slipped in your hand, cut your palm. Drops of blood fall, fall, fall to splash in the puddle at your feet, staining your socks.
Leaking faucets and bloody bodies have a lot in common. Despite the harm it does to the whole, they like to keep dripping. They fight the efforts of bandages and plumbers just for the satisfaction of watching themselves waste away one drop at a time on cheap imitation tile.
What are we?
I am wrapped in a suffocation cocoon spun from the dark hazy threads of my guilt and anger. Threads thrown out from your body, and hers, and theirs. From this idea, and that lost dream, and the hopes I never should have had.
My conscience is the spider, tucking its web more tightly around me.
"Don't you want to be free?" it asks. "Don't you want to fly home, little bird?"
Yes. Yes, please. Let me free.
"Then cut the ropes. Cut them all."
But... if I do that...
"You will lose them all. Every single thing you hold dear."
Get out. Get the fuck out.
I feel you. Feel your hand gripping the back of my neck, your claws as sharp points in my scalp. You shove yourself into my veins and taint the breath in my lungs. Hot. Waves of heat beating against me.
"Give me." you say. "Give me you. Give me your everything."
Demon. Devil. Lover. Luster. Fucker.
If I die before I wake, I pray my soul you cannot take. Let it go where it will, free at last from those who strangle it.
Those who plunge me into holy water and watch me drown.
Sleep holds no nightmare worse than of our bed empty without you.
But when I cried, it wasn't the forlorn cry of a lonely wife. No, when I cried last night, it was the cry of a heart broken and infected and knowing, at last, that its pain won't be healed. Not by you. Not by them. Because no one has what I need. Because I don't know what I need.
I know what I want. Some strong antidepressants and a few sessions with a qualified shrink to start. Maybe some hydros to coast along on.
I want you back.
What a beautiful woman you've become. But your mind is so old. All your naivety was stripped away years ago, leaving behind a raw and bitter wisdom of the world around you.
Always the cynical one. Always the one to peer over her glasses with those eyes like green mirrors to another, better world and scoff at things like love and romance and hope.
"Told you so." they say. "Told you. Told you."
God committed a sin when he trapped your heart behind such thick walls. He will burn for it if I have to throw him to hell myself.
There, suspended between fire and water, cradled by the sea and caressed by the sun, I waited for the sky to strike me through the heart, and send me--coughing and sputtering--to the iron grasp of the earth.
"What was my crime?!" I cry while fighting to keep the bubbles locked in my mouth.
You were born, the earth says in a voice that does not speak.Your very existence upsets the balance of this world. Your soul is different. Wrong. Too bright. Too strong. Too conflicted. We cannot allow it any longer.
Darkness is a silky, comforting thing.
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