I cant remember my dream.
I cant breathe.
Her thin painter hands open the door to the stairwell, the smell of fresh paint replaces that of a spring rain. Skipping the clean stairs two at a time, she reaches the studio. Walls of glass flank the empty white hallways that weave in and out, remains of torn masking tape shrivel on the walls like dying flowers. The door looks like it belongs to a prison, too familiar.
The sun barely moved, if at all, outside the window.
Tracing the outline of his body, she let the colors tell the story.
A stroke of shadow
Walking to the center of the room, limbic resonance. A vaguely masculine figure melts into the painting. It's silent as he dies.
Her feet hit the pavement. From the familiar soft dirt path through the woods, she crosses the courtyard to the doorway of the stairwell. Memories flood her mind under the dull lamplight amidst the rustling dead leaves.
Moving a stone from the crumbling wall of the school, she places her letters to you beneath the rubble.
I'm holding the keys but I can't find the right one
and the sun burned itself down,
the rain receded into the clouds
nothing is the same
He lies down in the stream
water rushing over him
relaxing, water replaces air
everything is different now.
I can't remember my last dream.
Out of space, out of time. Unnatural surroundings.
Muffled screams float in from the hallway.
Golden seam of light from the doorway saturates illuminated stitches.
He couldn't remember the last time this had happened. When he almost lost himself in the pain---
It's like seeing her for the first time, over and over.
Suddenly his hands were covered in their blood.
But I remember them,
telling me to be quiet, not to fight it.
Blush of Crimson
I've lost concept of time,
time to be quiet
I need to schedule my time
need to go away
Ophelia covered in glass
veins like kite string
he breathed in the water
I never said goodbye.
You know that feeling like everything's the end of the world
Next to the campfire, stars carved into her upper thighs
crossed like constellations as she moved closer to the flame,
gaze drawn up
The flight before the fall
He hasn't yet hit the ground, green flannel still in suspension. Dew collecting on the leaves slide down to the earth and surround his body.
His eyes are already closed, a moment of vulnerability. Still on the surface, cold blue water saturates his cuts and seams.
For the touch of a vanished thought caressed the back of her mind, like birds balanced on a live power line. Digital ripped walls, lights leading to the intervention of the other side of the ghost city, building brick school, and infinite nowhere. She lit her candle in the studio, watching the wick burn down and melt the wax, a ring of liquid growing from the center. Strange to drown in heat. It seems there's a wall of glass between her mind and this supposed reality, without any sound but her breathing and the occasional crack from the slowly burning candle. She mixes her paint and doesn't think about anything. The sun sets and rises and sets and rises again. Sitting in the same place, the candle frozen in perpetual burning. The room was clean. And she was painting. And the birds on the wire gently cawed against a white sky. The echo returned to the blank room.
I remember that night she stopped answering my calls. She doesn't pick up anymore. Curled up in the doorway scrawled with tick marks from when we grew extra inches overnight, phone clutched to my chest. I looked up and saw old Chinese fortunes folded above the doorway, hot tears spilling down my cheeks. A feeling of helplessness, guilt. If she answered I would have driven up there, taken her home.
It was 2am when I left. I grabbed the keys from the counter, my coat, some chocolate, and a book. walking to the car, I could see my breath suspended in the air. Frost coated the sides of the windshield but I didn't stop driving. I forgot my mittens. There was a foot more of snow as I ran towards the old door to her dorm, yanking the handle hard enough that the lock slipped and I didn't need an ID to get in. Warm stale air enveloped me as I gazed over empty security desk under fluorescent light.
The painting took up a whole wall of the room. There wasn' any money to frame it, so it would have to always stay here.
Sunlight leaked in from the window like a steading dripping faucet against a clogged drain. Her hair was turning blonde again, like when they were younger.
Humming, she was
remembering his hands
as they gripped the wheel loosely
at 5am in the morning
coated in glass
in the back of
his black pickup
the sun slowly
bled from behind the clouds
dripping like honey
the dirt on
air filled the truck
as he turned the heat on
one hand on
reaching backwards to
of broken glass.
In between the falling leaves, she whispered 'see you' and kissed his eyelids as he fell asleep.
I knocked on her door. Her roommate answered. He hadn't seen her at all that day. I've grown indifferent about my own problems. So I walked in her room and picked up the scissors from the corner. Put on her coat for her. Walked her through the snow to the car. Cecilia sat between the driver and passenger seat, hand in mine. I wish I could heal her arm through our layers of jackets, taken some of the sadness away. We didn't say anything as empty pavement and trees passed in every living moment.
I was thinking about him.
Occasionally we touch, but only in passing. Shadows, we cover from the heat.
Ridicule gnaws at these connection, scrapes paint strokes until the threat snaps, the pillars bow
And we take shelter in the cleansing water. The clashes of flesh. The segregation of interactions for fear of having ours be known by anyone at all.
(But still they talk, recite the script)
'Cecilia tried to **** herself and her clothes need to be washed'
(Look now, do you see it?)
'It looks like her soul
left her eyes'
I knew it was a nightmare. It's stuck to me. These alien emotions; like a sickness or a burn, interdepartmental rhythms of my brain I'll never fully grasp... not artistic or poetic. or anything fake and useful. Just nebular, inhibiting, distressed.
I'm always trapped in something. A heaviness. A natural declining, dissipation, entropy.
A brutal and sterile resistance, inviolate and soft to the touch; a lapsing despondency.
He was the sea that he drowned in. And he was the riverbed in the trees, too.
Swept in whirlpools and ripples and age rings, whispers of fallen leaves in the lucid water.
Silenced by hushing rage of stone cut rapids.
He's not seeing normally. Through the rippling surface her face is reflected into a million moving pieces.
Lines of tape surround his body, they shrivel in the heat of the sun. This is not natural death. There are no birds circling overhead, the stream continues to trickle over the rocks.
I drove her home from college started to run a bath. The hot water faucet turned all the way. I put my feet in, trying to avoid eye contact with the parallel lines. Familiar to what i had stitched before. Pale blue - green water kissed our skin as she closed her eyes.
We are not creatures of visible light.