When I think of my younger years, I remember only the sunlight. At six in the morning, occupying the windowpane, blinding and intact. It passes, tracing through my skin, to touch the floor, crawl up the walls, and intrude the corners of the living room—itching for the story it holds beneath. Sounds of the television program prevail. And I can only watch the morning quietly roll in. Quick, fetch the burnt pancakes in the kitchen.
Remember when the house burned down and you only watched and gawked? There I stood, beside you, asking if it was worth a drop of water. Your mouth spoke only of violence. Here, a chapstick.
He wants the grass,
a cottage home,
running on the sidewalk,
out late with the dog,
and the moon, full
Dinner with the Pushkins
Chopin on the tips of his fingers
And I want Woolf, the last drop of wine and the city at dusk but I’m two steps behind, idle, at ease
I count the lashes along the rim of the soft skin that embraces the inside of your eyes. Your eyelids. They open and close parallel to the beating of your heart, a tempo that grazes along the lining of your spine. Your back. Quietly thumping against the linen of the sofa that cradles your body and the space below the nape of. Your neck. That traces upwards to the back of your skull. I feel the warmth of your head on my lap.
What if I tore the wound on your knee and plastered it onto mine? Although the expanse of my tolerance can handle much more than that. Would you let it slip away like the afternoon hours surrounding us? I prefer you here, but love is sculpted to mimic the shape of thieves and serial killers, and in a little while, it will be dinnertime.
Everyday the concrete tilts. Jane Austen in her teeth. Off his face, wipe the filth.
Have I told you about the dream I had? Around 4 a.m., I could feel time in its sense of exteriority. You were there, and so was the house we used to live in. Only you seem different. You are cruel, like the sun as big as a museum in the sky. And there’s another, a newcomer. My beloved. He speaks rather gently, musing alongside the fluorescent. He is adequately lovely, too; plays Chopin on Saturdays, one of the nocturnes. And on Sundays he walks kindly leaving delicate marks on our doorstep. In the kitchen, you stand there wondering, what to salvage. How to salvage.
But there’s nothing you can do no more. It’s time we both wake up.
the former. Whatever time doesn’t allow is over now,
whatever death doesn’t tell me is buried here.
the latter. Tomorrow we meet,
but now I think of him at lunch while he’s out for dinner with his mom.
You say you like making food. But it’s a few hours past lunch and a little early for dinner, don’t you think? Passing through the kitchen, you grab a fork and stick it on the dough that’s barely ready for kneading. “Come help me with the soup,” you say, “it should be ready for serving before I start making the bread.” But who’s going to sit in front of the plates when you don’t even allow me inside the dining room when we eat?
In the beginning it was the womb. Just the womb. A baby girl. More accurately put—Girl, but when she was nothing but a thoughtless human being that weighted less than 3 kilograms. Light as a feather, maybe, but certainly not in the mother’s perspective but in the sense of the world, she was only yet to come. Cradled by the dark inside a belly, in a sticky film of fluid that protected it. Her? Her. She was singular, a Being all by herself.
Three years later, Girl sliced off her shoulder and gave it to Boy. A Boy that once was inside a mother’s belly on the same day three years ago. Anyway—it was all she could do at the moment, having no money nor any property, her flesh was everything she could offer. And she would give him every limb that made up her anatomy just to give him a place to cry on, or if he ever loses a piece of his frail body and needed a replacement, she would give him what was hers in a heartbeat—in less than a heartbeat. Skin. Bones. Liver. Lungs. Heart. It was all his.