Friday, October 26, 2007

On my left palm I have written I’m sorry in black ink. Right now it seems like the appropriate thing to do as I can’t say it to you.

Is it that I’ve said it too many times so that the meaning is lost?

Or is it because I know that no matter how many times I say it I cannot regain what I’ve lost?

Maybe by not wanting to hurt you, I’m hurting you even more.

I close my fist as they pass through the line. I greet them all with nods of acknowledgement. I can’t smile. I won’t. Not for them. Not anymore. And I don’t want them to see the inked confession on my skin. I lick my hand once and wipe it away… but I can still see the faint cursive. I decide to re-ink the letters – admitting once more my fault.

And then I am relieved. I leave and walk the path to where the bus will take me home. I open my closed fist. I close it again. Open. Close. Open. I dig my nails into the letters. I’m sorry. I flex my hand as if to vault the words from my palm. Let them fly off my flesh.

I pass a dancing man who calls my name. I hurry by, but not before my eyes catch his – you don’t know who I am. You know nothing about me. I manage a polite wave, my left palm flashing at him, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

As I’m walking I decide on another word. I reach the stop for the bus and I write please on the palm of my right hand. The letters are slanted and the a is a blotch, but there it is. I speak to a girl for a moment that I recognize and she asks carefully if I am okay. I am not used to care. How do you say no? How do you ask for help? I nervously rub my left hand against my leg. I’m sorry. I scratch anxiously at the back of my neck with my right hand. Please. I make excuses but give her a solid answer because I think her care deserves it. She is satisfied, as they all tend to be. I board the bus and find a seat at the back.

I can’t help looking at his hands beside me. They are not yours but I want to hold them. I play with the cord of my ipod. Please. I open my palm. Please. He could never be you but would it help me remember? I want to kiss him because I want to kiss you. I try to look into his eyes. Do I want to hurt you? I clasp my hands together. Please. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please. If there were anyone else would that make you get here faster? Would you fight for me? Or do you believe that I have given up?

As I exit off the bus I look into their eyes. You couldn’t be him, but I would let you. I would try try try to be satisfied holding your hand, I’m sorry, brushing fingers on your lips, Please. I want to break the only good thing I have left. I want it to shatter so that the pieces are too small to be glued back. I imagine his hands colder than yours, rougher than yours. I want to be selfish. I want to tell you that I need you. That I can’t survive without you. I want you to fight against everything for me. Or I want it to hurt, a pain so deep that I can’t sleep, can’t eat; a hurt so harsh that I become numb to everything else around me. So I can learn to live without needing you every moment of every day.

I want to crumble in the parking lot, fall to my knees, and press my palms to my eyes to stop the tears, with the words smudging against my cheeks. Please. I’m sorry.

Monday, October 22, 2007

She draws diagrams of
The sex organs of Flowers.

A connoisseur of caveats
With the tiniest bones;

As if made to break.

They are buried where the Flowers grow
In the garden behind her house.
(I wrote this on the plane a couple weeks ago, but never got around to posting it. I apologize for how roughdraft it is.)

He lights the match fast but it burns long enough for me to distinguish his key features. His emerald eyes, the distinct scar along his right cheek bone, his fear. In the light we tremble. The dark makes us narrators - story tellers of lives we know must be living - above us, below us, they must be, somewhere.

Another match and I raise bloody hands that I no longer recognize as my own to my face. I bite back my gasp and almost sigh relief when the light dies out. The matches will soon run out. But we no longer find them necessary or even useful. They are play things. Or simply distractions.

I relish the dark. It's the ones that let their eyes get used to the shadows - the ones that learn to see through the blackness - that doom themselves. There are the noises, sure; among many the tooth-cracking, fingernail-pulling, skin-scraping screams that dig at your deepest core until you have to lean against what you must assume is a wall and let the only thing left in you - stomach acid and blood darker than what you have been living in for what must now be months, force its way up your throat, working with your sobs, waiting for relief.

But the howls and pained cries of desperation are not the worst of it. Oh, no. The worst is the exaggerated silence. The too-quiet quiet where you listen for your own breathing, pulse quickening, not sure what belongs to you and what is owned by your pitch black environment. Your skin crawls or something in your skin crawls. Nothing is certain any longer. You can't remember what you look like - what you used to look like. You wonder if maybe it isn't all just phantom limb syndrome. But here you mustn't ever believe that you are only imagining this. You must always, always believe in everything you have always feared.

Monday, October 01, 2007

In bed, wanting, you flip the pages of your "French in Fifteen Minute Lessons" stolen-from-the-library book. You lick your desert lips and feel the grains of sand against your tongue. Your hands are known travelers and the journey never long. Locks that you've memorized all the combinations to. Non passionément. Pas beaucoup. Your eyes search the pages for phrases you could use - phrases you need to repeat over and over in dark back alleys, smoking thick cigarettes and pouting painted lips. "I want you to kiss me" "Yes, I'm here alone." "How good are you at picking locks?"