I laughed and I vomited
the way all women do.
Back then, it was December,
and beauty was all –
rows of lit windows, that single Christmas tree
holding itself up high above the riverbank.
And I questioned myself, sure.
Any woman would have. All women do.
There was a time I couldn’t stop laughing.
A man entered me like a dream.
He was tall. His bones shone bright. His bones
worked and worked like a lovers’ quarrel.
Having had this affair, I returned home.
Unpacked a silver suitcase.
Hung up my blue dress, wet
with myself. My legs had been split open.
My legs torn apart like—no, with—a thunderous roar.
I ripped up sheets of paper. It was all I could do
not to feed myself to the night.
I almost told him this, the last time we spoke.
I did tell him this.
That I was close, this close, this close
to bloodshed, my throat closing.
Sorry, I said. Sorry, I’m sorry, I was sorry.
I wasn’t. I just couldn’t muster anything else.
Some lists are strange
My greatest talent is my fear of loss. Maybe my fear of snakes. The bitemarks the snakes leave. The longest hair I once stole from a man. I carved him open and inside was nothing but exhaust.
It’s been difficult to remember the soft cadences my voice makes. Those mornings when I must speak loudly as the weight of every alphabet. My favorite quote is, “I left the windswept country.” I feed it to you in the carousing darkness. All of night is a carousel. A wagon ride through a newly constructed forest. An animal with a lack of hands.
This morning, the sun. I live now in a state where the sun never dissolves, where the sun perpetually dangles from the sky like a spot of trouble.
This morning, nothing came to my mouth but spare changes of strange noises. I was trying to tell you, I’m brave even in times of drowning.My greatest accomplishment is I’ve escaped my life without this drowning. I’ve questioned the existence of all those passengers on all those trains and boats, but I have, I’ve gone through life without too many bruises left spreading across the bare blades of my shoulders.
In this neighborhood, the cats slink through the other sides of the panes. The fish tanks glow like unkempt spirits. Girls watch television screens and splay out onto their stomachs like flyover states. I wish I could turn into these girls. There’s something strange going on in the pith of my brain: all I see is you.