I learned geometry in his bedroom feeling the strength in his hands around my ribcage as we became shapes together. my apologies to the animals outside who surely thought I was in pain. I licked the sweat from his chest, so that’s what the future tastes like? we learned each other’s dance but now I spin circles in front of him and he looks at the ground. I think he forgot the formula. ninety degree angles in one hundred degree heat. the length of the night divided by the width of my hips multiplied by the square root of how much his heart can hold. I crawled across his bed, he held the nape of my neck and we were one triangle tessellating in ecstasy. one self similar pattern, repeating, repeating, repeating.
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Too quiet and can’t meet his eyes, mine will tell every secret. I’ll take any excuse to be wrapped up in the ninety-eight point six degrees of his flesh. Stomach tumbles, catching myself before I can say too much.
Tracing my fingers up his vertebrae, I consider his cerebellum and how I might climb into it. Even to hear an echo of his thoughts would be enough. In the blue-light glow of the room, I try to belong to him but with just my hips, it’s useless. The anatomy of a heart breaking, all cells shrivel in defeat.
I tap my collarbone; the hollow noise makes me feel empty inside. With a fixed gaze, I implore him to let his demons dance with mine: dive headfirst into hell together. My tongue won’t cooperate.
Each joint unhinges with his grip. Please call me a doctor. Or an exorcist.
Preoccupied by soul shattering stillness, what is there left to feel? We’re at the apex of forever, the ocean floor of eternity. A paradox fucking an anomaly, infinitely.
Exhaustion knocks on my chest when your lips part, your voice a cacophony of brutality. Years I waited, time wasted. Ever so patient and by your actions, dismissed, until you were lonely enough to give me time of my own.
How can I protect my heart when you’re slowly cracking my sternum? Ribs snapping under the weight of your needs, it gets old quick. You needed me like a mother and fucked me like a contradiction.
better now, right? if i can never stand without heaving under the heat and oppressive humid tendencies. sweet, sticky, sickly - as it isn’t just an undoing of the season but my body is leaking salt from every pore. on my chest is the film of one thousand labored breaths concentrated in a sliming mist against me. never just the weather, i’m affected entirely by it all. everything - not everything - but most, it seems. your breath on my neck is more than enough for my nerves to fray. of course i snap. without excuses, save every tired one. maybe somewhere drier? i’ll never know. so let’s toast these next eight ounces to less sticky tongues against angry stares for no reason, for simple breathing. to apologies left unsaid for petty, moist feelings. because we’ll never stay dry but in six months we’ll be jealous of our past, melted selves.
a very restless night. you turn your back to me so I silently count ceiling tiles and your breaths, and I know I am not who I thought I would be to you. as if body language doesn’t speak loudly enough in the daytime. what a fool to think I could stay in such high spirits. the radiator hiss always sounds like its building up to something that never comes. there is always the possibility that I will finally scream “I love you,” and the force of it will crumble the ground beneath me, tear open the sky above me, just a wide enough hole for my shoulders and hips to get through clean. that phrase will resonate to push me up and up, down and down, simultaneously until I’m ripped to pieces and scattered across the universe, becoming bits of stars. maybe, some night when you’re alone, you’ll look up to the night sky and vaguely remember how my skin felt, if I am lucky. if I was really lucky, though, when I finally do crack and scream my love to you, you would just roll over. that you could turn to face me and counter my yells with a matching whisper. instead of counting tiles and breaths, I could count the freckles on your arms, then pluck a few stars from the sky to place amongst them.
The last time we met, a frozen February night, I felt nothing but sadness reverberating from your entire being. In your backyard, coyotes howling under frigid pine trees, with each smoky exhale I tried to think of a way to consume your misery. Both our bodies shook with cold, yours more frail since our last time together – depression-starved with bones jutting against flesh at sharp angles. Studying your mannerisms, a dropped shoulder gave me a sudden manic urge to push my hands through your sternum and tear out the ache I could see weighing you.
Wavered by my muddled emotions, I decided to keep my hands to myself for the time being. You held the door open for me and as I passed, the bright of the flood light splashing across the angles of your face was heartbreaking.
As we entered your bedroom I knew this time wouldn’t be like the others. She had sucked your spirit dry and left you with an empty husk, a body without purpose. No one so handsome should ever be so dejected. In your eyes I could see you were trying, even if just for my sake, to be your normal self, but it was too soon. Cradling your face against my breasts, I started to envision the positive energy in my body as a ball of white light in the pit of my stomach and tried with all my might to transfer it to you. When it didn’t work, I hated her for taking advantage of you, for being the one thing that made you happy and squandering it all. Even as you spoke so highly of her and reminisced fondly of your time together I kept thinking about smashing my fists through her pretty face.
I didn’t end up staying as long as planned. We both knew it wasn’t right. On the long ride home, I replayed the time we spent over and over in my head. Fixing you wasn’t something I’d be able to do. Romanticizing our nights together was taxing my psyche. Though I was happy with you, you weren’t mine to keep, you never will be. Every time we speak I wonder if there was anything I could have done, something I could have said to make you whole again, and still, I’m trying to convince myself it’s not my job.
we’re on the highway with the windows down, listening to instrumentals because words can’t explain anything. strands of hair in my eyes, when you look at me i am restless. driving to the middle of nowhere and fuck god, i want to confess my sins to the world. eyes concealed by those dark sunglasses, but i want to tear open your chest and look into your heart. we can ride route six from cape cod to california or we can drive this car straight into the ocean, it’s in your hands. the tank is full, i don’t care where we end up if it’s far away from here. we’re doing 85, driving up and up and up, i flick my cigarette out the window but it flies back in and we both panic. i imagine our charred bodies on the side of the road until i find it on the floor mat. with a stomp of my foot i save our lives and you laugh because my cheeks are flushed and my breath is shallow.
the scenery is too familiar as you take the next exit. i want to live in this tiny car. i want to stay forever by your right hand. five miles from nowhere, i want you to take the long way. a right turn here and i feel guilty for needing you more than you need me. we’re parked in front of my house; i want you to touch me, i don’t care what the neighbors see. it’s not too late, the car is still running, we can go anywhere. instead i graze your leg and thank you for the ride. call me when you get home because it’s a long drive and i want to know you’re safe. you kiss my forehead when i want to taste your lips. the car idles as you watch me unlock the door and as soon as i’m inside you beep and drive off. i am defeated. maybe next time we’ll end up somewhere else.
i was an epic goddess of darkness and of light, of everything you think exists but can’t quite be grasped. i may have traded it all in for this life of sins but who’s to say i didn’t know the grass wasn’t as green, because the sky’s much bluer i’m sure. and my throne laid in a castle upon a rolling hill made of the dreams of children and the hopes of middle-aged housewives where everything was much more beautiful than it seemed and now i lie in a crowded street where the lights may fade but they’re always too bright. i have never felt so unwise, i have never been so real and the stars shine out my name but i cannot answer. i have been held down in a fire of my own absent politics laughing and crying in an innocent rage never before seen by the harlots in their catholic concentration. i was an obscenity among men as a goddess but they worshipped my soft breasts and the sweetness of my breath and in a whisper i left for a life less loved in a world too lived. under unseeing eyes my dreams call me back but i am unsure of my name. i’m on a tugboat called a cruise ship unprepared to bail out water but equipped with gills to swim to shore even though i lost my mermaid tail long ago. i will not trade a life of imagination for a life of creation while still so unsure of my original motivation. and seated beneath the clouds in the swirl of a green and blue world i’m quietly content with a life of restraint. of cautiousness and callousness. selfish traits and unwanted desires. an almost meaninglessness that ceases to be seen. there are too many questions with answers somewhere not too far and a journey yet to be taken. but with a sigh i surrender, in a reminder that i am only flesh