Tag Archives: there

92. the only one you remember

i knew for a long while that the summer was over and now it really is. i only vaguely remember the way it began: pavements covered in blossom, lounging in the field under the stars, watching sun setting above our heads.

there was majorca.
there, in the evening, i scoured every shop for a memento to give to you. i found a wooden statue, obscurely sexual, sensuous, expressive: two figures entwined in an embrace, their sleek polished bodies holding each other. the male form bent round the female: side view of him, the woman – face on.
you didn’t like it very much and i can’t say i blame you: you had enough trouble reading a spy in the house of love. of all her men, the only one you remember is allan: the one she married, the father figure in her life. what of the others?
 ———- a blank.

can’t say i agree.
i had a dream of the english boy night before last: his birthday party conjured itself in a palace. i was with you of course. then, somehow i was speaking to him. back to you, fawning over the flowers Y’s girl had. and then a girl attendant handed me a huge box of those very flowers. scribbled on the box was “i love you”. from him.

still, those are only dreams. and i don’t mind that.

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90. we lay on the deck and count the stars

morning
8:30 a.m.

he did not recieve the text. good. so we chat. friends, not lovers, that we are: i question him of things and he shares his good news with me. at midnight. not that i didn’t ask him to, but he doesn’t bother informing you. funny?

relieved, i don’t think of the saved blushes and the heat does not rise to my cheeks: it doesn’t need to. 
a sigh escapes like a fly through the open window, its wings no longer beating against the cold clear pane of glass.  
phone on, i wait to hear a beep. from you or him, it hardly seems to matter.

i sleep lightly as of late, or as of early. since our trio of sleepover nights, it’s been better, but sometimes, i will wake up in the night and think you are with me, curled up on the floor.
no longer an insomniac, i don’t know how to classify myself. i want a tidy name to sum it all up. there isn’t one.

i’m on the edge right now and it’s nothing to do with the pair of you. my future lies within these very moments, encapsulated in the smell of old books and pheromones surging.
i call the number. it is busy. so i call again.
right now, all i care about is that the phone is picked up and they listen to me, if even for a while.

evening
9:30 p.m.

i heard a no. loud and clear, like a dead weight going into cold blue-black water.
deep, guttural sounds of a storm brewing. but the storm is already over. we lay on the deck and count the stars.

88. soon, soon

yes, you are right, i should like to hide my head in the sand and pretend all that darkness is nothing but light shining through a filter tinted the colour of night. i should pretend last night never happened, i should pretend i am content here by your side in the leafy undergrowth of life where all i see are roots uprooted, dying in the sun. and would you blame me?

i could not sleep last night, thinking of the shining lights enveloping you, pillow over my head to drown out hurt. i wondered if i ought to watch a film, but that would be defeat. no, i would lay here and count your wrongs, my wrongs, the cracks in the ceiling of our hearts, thoughts, lives.
soon, soon, the artery would rupture and drown out the pain.
soon, soon.

i knew i couldn’t cut myself. what with? a knife? i could almost hear you saying don’t be silly in that tone of yours. and pills, what good would it do? only that i may die without salvation, without the knowledge of how to cling to love by the skin of your fingertips. or maybe i know that already.

and i can’t live with all that poison, not even just for tonight. i would fight but my limbs have gone to sleep and i am faced with a picture of you in the club, music pounding, drinks flowing, girls dancing.
and i realise i can’t say that there is anything missing. there is not.

so there!

expendable
and with the blurring quality of a spanish sunset
i ought to stop dreaming of the miracle
they [nora knows] don’t happen ever

no fool but i expects
a man to build a roof over the pedestal
everyone knows statues have no eyes to worry about rain

sleep like trauma washing over me washing dishes
as if salt could wash away a man-made stain

what call you this
a fading jaded tan line of black bags under the eyes
what am i now
a landing strip stripped bare so there!

86. i think she knew

through my paperround last year i met a wonderful man. he used to walk his dog as i’d deliver papers and we started talking around the time i started writing this blog. i think he’s 82: he must have mentioned it a while back. and i’m afraid there’s nothing literary about him: his existence is one of uncouth coutesy.

i quit the paperround a while back now but i still see him every sunday. nine o’clock in the morning, like church. he’s my little christian connection: even S is nowhere near taking his place. he gave me a bible with a picture of him in his youth stuck at the back, so that i remember him. secretly, i think, he believes that it will help me find him in heaven: he believes i will go there after all. 

to my friends, this man is “the old man”. to me, he is much more than that. it may be true that i meet him every sunday partly because i feel like it’s my obligation, but also because somewhere beneath my skin there’s a tendon that connects me to him.

his wife died last night. or the night before that. and there’s no more words because i’m hurting for him. because how can one even begin to describe his pain?

i had made them a card only this march: they celebrated their 60th wedding annivesary.

sometimes he told me he wondered if she ever loved him but i know that was only because he loved her more than anything else. ever.
and it’s a little late for him to tell her, but i hope she knew. i think she knew.

the world off your shirt

i won’t wait on you,
but not because i don’t want to:
maybe i would have done on any other day—

that’s not to say that i don’t hate
standing at the train station waving at a departing train.
it’s not me, you understand?
in me there’s always an impulse to chase it.
just water, baby, to chase it. 

just water, a silent drizzle of impending rain:
it’ll wash the world off your shirt—
and i will smell crisp cotton again.

85. cherry soda loves

there was a line in streetcar named desire that i remember. it said it’s touching to notice them making their first discovery of love! As if nobody had ever known it before.  it resonates, for now the time has come for the bud to be broken and flowers to bloom in the late-spring night air.

the risk is nothing. nothing, really. there are only the long sprawling afternoons this side of summer, when paper is scrunched up into tiny little balls and burnt with a magnifying glass or matches. whichever, the result is all that matters. words are nothing: this air requires action! 
and there are trees, so beautiful this time of year. they remind me of walking to school in the summer and inhaling the scent of apple tree blossom with T. those were the days, eh?

but now, no now, those buds will open and blossom will scatter into the hands of a handsome young man that we choose. for me, this sweltering summer, it’ll be you. and, god willing (an expression i borrowed from an altogether more believing friend of mine), next summer also. for T (if we were boys, she’d be a brother from another mother) it will be someone else. Her new beau (a rather lovely Tenessee expression!). her very first. amazing stength and will and beauty.

so here we are, and isn’t it queer to think we shall be here always? in the arms of another, in the throes of spring, the coming summer alighting hopes in every single one of us, as if petards were thrown at the pavement before us, at our feet, at our willing young hearts?

and we can’t help this feeling hopeful. and we can’t pretend we didn’t want this life.
so every year, like clockwork, we will be discoving those cherry soda loves and shedding blossom in each other’s arms.