all smiles and glitter staring back at you
in that echoing space
all smiles and glitter staring back at you
Tonight I am chasing the cool side of the pillow, almost as elusive as breeze despite the windows with their open mouths panting in the heat. Here, the backs of my knees slide slicked between day fresh sheets too quickly twisted into abandoned heaps, lumps of coal still smoldering at the foot of this bed all while the ceiling fan wheels in slow circles the air curdling into soups so thick it sticks in my lungs like grief I want to scream into the cool side of a pillow until my breath has turned cotton to swamp, until I cannot tell the tears from my sweat and the summer feels a little less like a coffin pressing in on all sides.
I do not love you like the ocean, I’m much too scared of drowning. Instead I love you like a battered paperback, small enough to pocket on walks from dorm rooms to lecture halls. I love like the blanket my housemate bought me, too pink to be polite but a soft cucoon against my skin warm on cold winter nights. I love you like anything that can be forgotten tucked away or to one side, but hangs around in the quiet moments still very much alive. I do not love you like life itself, but I love you a little like breath. In the same way that I do not think about it, in the same way that to not would be nonsense in the same way that I don’t know how to stop without the pressure in my chest building to a point where I think I might shatter me pieces. I suppose I love you a little like breathing. I do not love you like the ocean though. With you I have never …
You stitched yourself a world of patchwork panels hanging crooked from one another. A cobbled mess of this and that, the tension off in the needlework, thread fraying loose in places. One stray breath would rip asunder everything. Yet still, you held it out.
The storm left you shivering, hair clumped and heavy headed, slumped against my doorway leaving dark spots. Still clumsy with your hands you kept them in your pockets. A promise not to reach for me despite the rain driving you, to seek out home.
They carved a mirror out of shadows when you died, just to pull your reflection from it, held the silhouette up like a man full formed and walking despite the brittleness in his limbs when he reached for anything other than the stories they planted inside his mouth like the kisses I used to keep there when the world receded with the tides on blue moons and snowy days in June. I alone knew that you did not smile in that way. I alone knew the curve of your mouth was remade backwards, the bend of your nose lost beneath legends, a scar on your palm, no longer than the width of one finger healed by their songs. If we had laid together I would not recognize the man they’d forged, even your eyes changed colour in the light of their voices. In the end I had to learn to let them keep you this other version of you, that I did not own, and I did not know. Daily Prompt: Famous (Also inspired by Madeline …
You arrived too early, at the point when my heart could only shudder not flutter. So unused to feeling anything besides the grinding of pieces forcing themselves to fit into places grown too small. Instead of heat pooling somewhere deep there was fire along my hairline inside the back of my skull, with some primordial lesson still drumming in the shadows of my DNA. A tempo of hammering, lungs creasing and collapsing feet turned to lead still beating with the panic of my pulse as I let the miles run out of count beneath me. Catching my breath was a year long exericse which when marked only came up with a half score of ‘could do better if she applied herself’ and ‘doesn’t seem to really understand the subject matter discussed.’ Daily Post: Premature
The Room Elsewhere In Another Town Across The Border So Very Far Away If you roll a postcard landscape, it will fit inside a bottle. I discovered this when I held everything I wanted to tell you between my palms, and worried it so much it shriveled to a cylinder so thin it fit inside the empty coke bottle you left on the windowsill. I used cork to keep the second thoughts from escaping. Coke bottles are surprisingly soundproof. Even the apologies find it hard to rattle the glass enough for me to want to turn and look. With all the silence that is left inside this house I sometimes wonder if I should pour out the content for something other than quiet. So far I’ve kept that bottle closed. I guess I’m stronger than I feel. I tossed all those words into the sea yesterday. The water wasn’t deep enough and the tide brought you back each time I tried until eventually my arms turned to lead and I could throw just as well …
If you run your hands along my sides you can feel the ridges beneath my skin, the raised lines of glass, an old pharmacy trick, so those who could not read their words wouldn’t pick up the poison by accident. When you have peeled my clothes away, they will still be there. The final line of defence when all the labels have been cast off and you could be forgiven to think I was medicine instead of arsenic wrapped in curves.
I’ve caught your words in my mouth once or twice since you’ve been gone. They fall like sugar, dissolving into conversation, stirred past, almost before I have time to notice that I said them instead of you. Even past death you voice lives on.