I always meet you outside in the cold with my hands gripped around a poetry book. How was I supposed to tell you that I had been writing about you before I knew your name? Your face is burned into my memory. Your fingertips leave scars. I tell you how gentle you are.
I half expected the outcome, which was why I found myself shivering against a tagged wall. Someone asked if I was okay, and I think the vomit stuck in between my teeth said all that needed to be said. No one bothered me again.
There are all these little secrets you tried to get a hold of but never could. I wondered if you grew frustrated with me. Did the pits you tripped in force you to dip inside a lonely cave where you laid down, where you felt my insides drown in all the bits and pieces of lace and kisses you never got to touch. Why wasn’t I enough?
I cried at a red light and said to myself I would never be what anyone ever wanted. The next day, I’m sitting in a taxi at the same red light, and my forehead is against ice cold glass. We haven’t spoken in weeks.
I got lost in an alley way before I told you I was even around. I thought you would come looking for me. I thought you would ask if you could find me. I thought if maybe I got lost, you would be worried. I like to think my inner self is hidden somewhere in a corner of your bedroom because that’s where she thinks she belongs. I have always been stubborn. My body is nothing but a box for who I am.
I remember someone tried to grab onto me. Anger swelled inside of you and popped, spilling all over the ground. You bit your tongue. I saw the blood. David killed Goliath again.
Someone asked about you, and I spit in their face.
I felt this warmth against me and behind my ear. They were holding me in a way that said, “It’s only you and I.” It was only us because I was tucked neatly on a shelf for later use; for when boredom ensued. I tried to call you that night to tell you I missed you because I felt dirty. I tried to call you to tell you I wanted you. I tried to tell you before he grabbed me. He was not gentle. He left bruises. He liked that.
I touched all the spines with a sense of surprise that such a great mind liked even greater things. I saw you pulling at your fingers across the room. I saw the darkness subside in your eyes. I saw a little one who thought he had lost himself but now realized he could be found. A split second becomes a beautiful chunk of time in my life.
I deserved better than that. I deserve better than this. I’m learning who I am and what I want, and suddenly, your picture is not in my locket anymore. Suddenly I don’t smell you in my morning coffee. I begin to sleep again.
No one ever really reiterates how much the past creeps up on you when you least expect it. No one ever really tells you to expect the unexpected.
I’m on the subway, and my hands are dirty. My hair is stuck to my forehead. I think I split my lip on accident. I would like a glass of wine in order to forget these kinds of moments. I can’t remember how I got here. I can’t remember why I came here. Was I looking for you?
Sometimes I think, “What would they think of me now?” before I submit to someone else.
If you don’t believe in God, you have to believe in something, right? There’s Science and then there’s yourself. Science is more logical. Science is more rational. I’ll believe in the human genome.
We were neither heaven nor hell. We were the perfect in between. We had darkness clogging our veins. We vomited up light.
The first time I heard you laugh, I hoped I could hear it again and again until it annoyed the piss out of me. Luckily, we never got to that point.
Are you alive? I’m certainly not. I’m mobile, and I’m breathing. I merely exist. Partially.
I hope whenever you hear my name, there is a deep echo in the deepest pit of your gut. I don’t want you to know what causes it or how it happens. I don’t want you to even be aware half of the time that your soul is remembering. I want you to be forty years old one day and bump into me by pure chance. I will have forgotten your face. I will be on a mission throughout the city. That pit will vibrate and cause a shattering quake in your bones. You will realize then. You will remember me then. I will be a block away from you at this point. You will remember my laughter. You will realize the low hum in your ears at the sound of my name was a memory trying to stay alive. You’re not weak for this nor am I strong for forgetting. But you injected me into your veins. I never allowed you that close to me.
If you ever thought I was beautiful, I don’t care. It means nothing to me now.
I used to think there was a time and place for everything. This is not true. We would have ripped apart ligaments in their joints. We would have roared until their ears bled. We would have scraped the skin off of the innocent in order to keep ourselves alive. We would birth a monster from our detriments. I have no pity. I have no regret. I think the universe did all it could to keep itself safe.