what do we forget to talk about when we talk about love?
we forget what it feels like not to be able to recognize it from across a room, to realize, that was love, only after it has already walked away,
we forget that love can be sticky like gum in the summer, that you can never really get it off of you entirely, and how most of the time, you either didn't ask for it in the first place or don't know what you did to deserve it,
we forget about the palmar grasp, how we have an innate impulse to hold onto the things that are in front of us,
and we forget that sometimes, love is too big to wrap our fingers around.
there are things i will never forget,
things i never want to forget but will,
victim to the natural decay of memory,
the perhaps necessary decay of memory,
the world inside of my heart is as big
as the world around it, mirrors shades of
both glory and shame when i look at myself
in the mirror with love, love my humanness
when it is capable of overcoming what
makes me human, want to rip myself
apart when it can’t, when it mistakes
mania for ritual, mistakes me for a vessel
only capable of succumbing to passions,
and i look at myself in the mirror with love
in these small moments, admire my dedication
to preserving even the worst parts of myself, the
worst parts of you and how neither of us can
seem to forget the things we never wanted
to remember in the first place.
you read 267 before we ever had the chance to
nestle into one another's necks, i remember, as i
think back to the two of us getting ready to share
the couch in courtney's apartment for the first time
on a cold night in november. i could see my nerves
vibrating through the air from out around me,
surprised at how they made the room look like
the basin of a waterfall. i forgot how to breathe
under the rush of the water until you took out the bag of
blankets you brought and insisted we sleep under them all.
by the end, i forgot all the ways you would tell me you loved me
because you forgot how to speak in my loves mother tongue,
tried to make up for it with picture books and presents but
by then it was too late-- i was already water that had
tumbled into itself too many times without
receiving anything in return.
i saw you overwriting the space i used to occupy in your mind with a voice that practically roared through the room, and i panicked.
waded in the stagnation of my whisper. folded in on myself until the shape of my body became incomprehensible. inhuman. the problem is that i don't know how to speak up. how to unravel without feeling like a fraud. i've taken on the role of both Gatekeeper and Guarded, and i never let the latter out. talked the former into being cold. being quiet. sold her on the snake oil of a border of bricks. of a mouth that should be fearful of the kind of attention a smile might solicit.
even i marvel at how little it takes to be reminded of the worst parts of myself.
when will history stop being
the lure i use to reel you in?
when comes the time when the line
sags and shreds, too worn to replace,
when it snaps the moment you meet
a woman more comfortable bouncing her
voice against the walls of a room than i,
i will try to remember the lengths.
the lengths we go to keep alive
the antiquated notions of what we knew
love to be, how we seek to replicate it,
coerce it into corners without the intention
of ever letting it out, and how it cries.
how love cries when we force it to be
what it was instead of what it is meant
to be, all because we are too afraid to
forget, too afraid to become acquainted with
the quiet moment before a miracle, the
rapture of reassurance after God gets
the chance to whisper i have more in store
if you wouldn't mind making room.
in the final act of how
unlike me you made me,
i strip in front of your friends
and wade my way through the reeds
around a pond in west almond,
**** sticking to the otherwise
invisible fuzz on my *******,
distorting their shape into something i
didn’t want to look at,
could barely recognize even under water.
chris hoses everyone off when we get out,
tells me to turn around after he sprays down my back,
and i do, regretting in that moment being human and
not having an infinite amount of hands to cover up
the things i only wanted you to see.
you don't understand how important the christmas lights are in corona until they're the only bit of hope you have left. until you're crying on the 7 on your way home from work for everything you feel you can't make your way out of, for the swamp that has grown inside of your stomach from all the things you can't separate yourself from and even if you could, from all the things that would leave you a different person than the girl who made room for what she thought was going to be a watering hole.
but then you see the christmas lights in corona. see them street after street. home after home. you think about the lives of the families who put them up, think about your own sitting around gram's big dinner table in the basement, the one with the tablecloths that nobody likes but she refuses to get rid of because they just don't make tablecloths like these anymore, laughing. you see a nativity scene in the front of a church and remember what it felt like for things to be simple enough to be solved by the sign of the cross. by digging so deep into yourself that you hit water.
you see the christmas lights in corona and you don't know how, and you don't know why, but you feel the muck being pulled out from your stomach through your mouth, lured away by the bright of the bulbs on the street. so you stand there on the 7, with your mouth just barely open, and let the light rid you of all the things you cling to but don't want to keep. the things your body has nourished and known for long enough to forget how to function without. you stand there until you are empty inside, hopeful that, at least now, you can start to make your way out of yourself without drowning.
finally unpacking some emotions from january
it has been a weird year.