i breathe you out
the way i breathed you in:
musky, silent, imperceptibly sweet,
mingled with rain,
your veins carrying raindrops
straight from the sky
into the heart.
i cup my hands,
pool the torrential outpour in them,
to the god of thunder
and his throne on olympus;
and i imagine
you cupping my breasts.
the hands feel warm and soft,
tropical islands in the sea of desire,
holding me in the near-darkness.
the earth drips with moisture
and i drink the rainwater
as an offering
above human hearing:
sharp piercing sound – a blade –
lips come together,
in a brusque motion.
the slurmp of collision
runs through the body
and the rest is silence.
beneath the bones,
the scream solidifies
in the darkness of the soul.
to the scribble of my pen on paper:
ardent, desperate, hot:
bird caged in barbed wire and wool,
fed ground coffee and coca leaves.
of my other loves:
none as big
none as beautiful, but just as real
between me and sadness,
so that i don’t have to do it myself:
a mediator, a true constant.
you are the paper i write on,
carving words into the thick muscle of heart:
water is thinner than blood.
you are the dream I must have had
before you held me in the night.
you are. you are. you are.
so your brother is going to cambridge. we went over there with congratulations: chocolates and a card, as you do, because i’m proud of him. though not as proud as i am of you. you deserve something like that so much more and i think we both know that.
looking back now, do you remember the day we were waiting for our results to appear on the screen of the computer? the tears and awfulness of that day? the sitting on the grass in the field near your house, later, the weather lukewarm, sun popping in and out of the clouds? because i remember. you got your grades but i didn’t. one mark away from getting into the right university, one mark away from solidifying myself away from you.
i knew then that something wanted us to be together – who knows what would have happened if i went somewhere else? knowing me, you would be a memory. knowing you, you’d hate me for that.
how poignant it all is, looking back. but i don’t regret a thing. whatever will be will be and all that was makes us who we are now. i sit here now, wrapped in a towel, readying myself for an evening out with you (tenessee williams’ “sweet bird of youth” at the old vic), and wonder if i would be this happy had something else occurred?
what if i’d got the grades, what if you didn’t, what if some force of nature ripped the fabric of us?
and i wonder, if we knew the future if we’d have done it all again.
the night was gloomy yesterday, moon acquiescing to the smattering of grey overbearing clouds. we didn’t go anywhere and i wished we had. i didn’t feel like reading, the longing for the impalpable weight of your breath on my skin so overbearing. the long stretch of time loosened memories, it made me heavy with anticipation of our holiday next week – hiking up mount snowdon, just the two of us.
going to university (feels so long ago now!) made me realise how little of britain i have really seen. there were people there, from china, singapore, malaysia, who flittered their summers away on lancashire plains, up and down landmarks, around scotland and wales and i felt like i hadn’t seen britain at all. psychologically, i think, we always long to see another culture, another way of life because we think it will shock us, inspire us, change us. what we fail to realise is that our own culture is just as beautiful and just as unique. so i’m digging up my old walking trousers (if they still fit) and going up spending three nights where, granted, people still speak english, but where the way of life is not what we’re accustomed to in London – it’s quieter, peacefuller, more at one with nature.
i love the hustle and bustle of life here, the dip and pull of waves of people rushing places, but sometimes it’s nice to be in the multitude of green with the feeling of life at a standstill, catching a breath. our last trip to wales (july the eighth twenty twelve?) reaffirmed my love of london – llandudno was smaller than expected and everything shut at five, giving its evenings an eerie, cold feel. but the beauty of the surrounding was irrefutable – i longed to take the blue skies and green hills with me upon return.
so i’m excited, definitely excited. i think i’m a traveler at heart.
i’m more a reader than a writer, a passive comma in the midst of life. born to incite something or other, born to launch without ever going anywhere oneself. but there is time. time changes all, time smooths out the edges.
last night, T let me read the first two chapters of his working book. he started writing because he was inspired when we went out and about London for a bit. he started writing because he’s in love with me, but never mind that since he never put it into words. he’s a friend of ours and if dreams fill up the length of lonely days, who are we to begrudge him? in any case, the writing’s good, the writing’s solid and if i push someone to something more than they were, that is achievement in itself. it makes me happy.
it’s strange, this writing, when all i’ve written the last year were essays. creativity has a propensity to seep out when you no longer use it and it takes all the will you have to take it back. all world needs a muse. for burroughs (“naked lunch”, “junkie”) it was joan vollmer, whom he killed by accident and who poured out the guilt in words, whose loss left him to seek a way to replace the void; for nin (“delta of venus”, “spy in the house of love”) it was miller, who interrupted her life and frenzied her with his roguish charm and bohemian life; for me it is you. for i can read all i want but unless i have you near me, unless the warmth of your lips touches mine, ideas cannot solidify into something more than a wispy dream. when you were gone (four weeks and three days, for i was counting) interminable minutes seemed to stretch into infinity. no matter where i was or who with, the thought of you made me ache all over, made me hungry for the staunch presence of you.
now you are back, your touch is fresh and i’m learning to write again.
i thought of making another blog, starting a story from scratch, erasing the past i had myself forgotten; but i couldn’t. i couldn’t think of what to call it, couldn’t make my own words, having used yours for so long.
so, still, i write to you, though you are mine. i still write to you for who else could I write to, who else makes my heart slurp up the blood quite so greedily, who else can take the whole of me with one look? if he exists, and doubtless he does, i haven’t found him yet.
you swept me off my feet watching sunrises by my side in the train, gaze lingering to my thighs, lips ready to go for the jugular. you courted me through the snow, waiting for my other loves to die a natural death. you won me, fair and square, because it was i who awakened the predator in you and blood-lust blinkered you. i let you into the darkest part of me and you took me but if you stopped loving me, i would stop loving you. i must admit, there are nights when i wonder what that pain would feel like.
over time, i understood i never meant to be the best, only desired. i’m not ashamed of that – all that we are, all that we have stems from desire. the instinct to conquer is stronger than the instinct to love. you should know that because i don’t miss X and Y. you should know that because i still write. you should know that because once in a while i tell you that i don’t believe in love.
i’m that girl you met all those years ago that told you i was gonna fuck a lotta guys, just different.