misc. inspirations

10

1992.08.20 ❀ Happy 24th birthday, Maiyan ❀ 

ROAD TRIP 2010

(@nosebleedclub  response)

(i) we try healing and end up smoking the same toxic waste. i weave flowers through your hair, tell you you’re beautiful. it’s not a lie, but your mouth still turns down, your eyes flicker with a flame of doubt. the cigarette smashes against the concrete, embers and dust. you say green tea is cleansing, for the body, the body, you are preoccupied with. and yet. so intent on destroying.

(ii) eight feet underwater. your chest locks up, a caged heart, lungs, your will to live, all drowning with you. from here, the light on the surface looks appealing. it wasn’t that long ago we pretended to be creatures of the sea, mermaids with a knowledge of the way the tides worked. you were always better than me–you swam, graceful, you held your breath longer. i wondered sometimes, if you’d go under one day, and not return. gills growing along your neck, webbing between your fingers. i count to ten, eleven, twenty. you resurface, elation in your blue blue eyes, long hair dripping, hands smelling of salt. i smell of chlorine, my throat chokes on water. you were always better than me.

(iii) the hill behind your house. the trees stretched so tall, against the sky, pressing on the clouds. the hill, grassy, in the middle of it all. you spread out a blanket, lie back with your head touching my thigh. we are always talking about life and death, even if we don’t realize it. i’ve never believed in reincarnation, but if i came back to this world in another form, i think i’d like to be bird. i would make a home in one of those sky-touching trees, a nest with twigs from the very ground we dreamed on. i’d watch that space and i’d wait for you, to spread out a blanket and look up at the world. i wouldn’t know i was waiting for you. but maybe you’d point me out and smile, in that way of yours. as if to say, i knew you’d find me.

(iv) your first boyfriend. you wore his t-shirt. i didn’t like it, it didn’t smell like you. we hugged and i didn’t bury my head to your shoulder like usual. i don’t think you noticed. weeks went by, you fell in love, you fell out of love, but before you could do that, he broke up with you. never asked for his t-shirt back. you didn’t cry. you held a lighter to the shirt and waved its’ smoke into the air, eyes closed as the fabric burned, and you try to forget, but it doesn’t really work. around the edges, i think you’re still burning.

(v) i’ve lost count of how many times you’ve called me, crying, wishing for it all to just be over, over already. on the other end of the line, i believe you, and it scares me, how ready i am to accept the fact: you won’t mind leaving me behind. eventually i calm you down, but when you hang up the phone, my heart is racing, my heart is breaking, and i don’t tell you this, but i go into my closet and cry, over how much i love you, and how much it’s going to kill me when you leave.

(vi) everyone thinks you’re a bit grim. maybe it’s the eagerness to see dead things, to cut the animals open and see what made them fail. you’re going to be a surgeon, or a coroner, maybe. either way, you’ll learn to rip flesh and get comfortable with blood. you pin butterflies to a cork board, their scientific name printed in your casual cursive. you stop your mother from swatting a ladybug. you laugh when i shriek at a spider. i laugh too, because i’m not really afraid, not with you around. the first time i see you kill something, i stand still, a moment of silence, not for your victim, but for the tears in your eyes.

(vii) my favorite memories are in your kitchen, with something in the oven, with fruit soaking the cutting board, with the sunlight streaming through the bay window, your mother in the living room, reading magazines, pretending not to listen to us laugh and talk and sing. we are fifteen. we might never be older. your hair is golden in the afternoon, your eyes are happy, i am happy. outside the wind blows, leaves covering the grassy hill, the water in the pool sloshing to the ground as your father drains it. summer is over. i never liked the heat anyway.

2

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina celebrates victory with his team after his singles match against Andy Murray of Great Britain during day one of the Davis Cup Semi Final between Great Britain and Argentina at Emirates Arena on September 16, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.