I still see your face, bone-white as my china
above the black velvet cape you wore to my wedding
twelve years ago, the hem of your black crepe skirt
brushing up the dirty rice swirls
as you swept down the reception line to kiss me.
“Now you’re going to get it,” you whispered,
cupping my cheek in your hand.
I know the place.
It is true.
Everything we do
Corrects the space
Between death and me
Afterwards, from one
or both of you,
will come a whispered
Are you OK?
as if you had just
been in an accident
and were checking
to see who’d survived.
you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him traveling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love
Get little cuts on your hands from things no one else does. Edges of doors, Post-it notes, a pineapple. Feel like you need to pay people for interacting with you. Masturbate standing up in the living room looking out the window. Stare at an open sore on your finger. Rub it with saliva and watch the surrounding skin redden. Wonder if you’re allergic to yourself. Notice alien, almost slapstick qualities of your naked body in the mirror.
Move into your mom’s condo. “We’re just eating it because it’s here,” she says about a cake. At night she clamors around the kitchen, looking for pecans. She warns you of a man she’s seen in the bushes. After she goes to sleep, exercise in her condo’s small gym. Jog on the treadmill and watch six astronauts on TV receive time-delayed messages from their families. One astronaut is preoccupied with his watch. Run past the bushes on your way home.
When I am with you,
we stay up all night.
When you’re not here,
I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for those
And the difference