You don’t exist.
And you never will. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t sit still,
Or stare, or bless me with your fingers in my hair.
And tell me everything. How you feel about every thing.
It wouldn’t be fair to ignore this craving that I have for you.
But where exactly does it go?
Further into my brain, where you wait, my imagination cradling your body with tight possession?
How come I can’t take it when I think of you and remember how much you aren’t what my thoughts turn you into?
How come I can be at peace, and then at war, almost in the same minute?
When I see you, I recognize the meanings in so many things, that my eyes are a haze of curiosity and joy.
Thank you for luring that out of me,
One day at a time.
I don’t think we ever met. If we did, he was there for my birth. Pulling on the end of my spinal cord. Putting it into place. Dusting the commute in my brain stem. Aggravated by me. ‘Why so young?’ He wants to know. ‘Figure it out.’
I ask him why he wants me to.
He turns like a shadow into the light around it. Going. Going. Not gone.
‘Understand, and maybe you’ll understand.’
I say okay. Because he’s right. I trust him to be right for me, for everything I touch and love and hate and find difficulty in.
I love my father. Not the pronoun for my father, but, he tries to comfort me. He knows that my father is a disaster.
‘Why doesn’t he love you?’ His voice is softer, coarse as a velvet coat.
‘Should he?’ I muse with him.
He wonders too. I want to comfort him, and my father, so I try to extend every bit I’m not, out. It goes. It goes away.
‘Is this love?’ He asks me.
‘Don’t I ask you that?’ I ask him.
He wonders why I’m forgetting myself.
I do too.
‘Well, what you believe I know is right. Somehow. This will be okay. You’ll defeat your doubt. You’ll be free, you WILL get out. I know you. I know that.’
‘Thank you,’ I say to him.
His smile is all I feel. It’s like a hand in my stomach, moving around, signing for help. SOS. SOS. Pain. Fuck.
I smile too.
I stare over at him. He’s laughing at me, holding an open flame under my thighs. Inside my chest.
‘Don’t you know what you’re doing? This is unsafe, Ruth.’ He says.
‘I really like it, though.’
‘I know, babe.’ I feel a burn mark bubble my skin, the feeling curdling me all the way up to my face.
His eyes freeze my skin away. Crackling blood. Eye contact I’m not expecting makes Him turn into a garish and grateful muzzle, and my eyes swish away.
‘Thanks,’ I mumble from behind his hand, his fingers fine on my lips.
‘No problem,’ He whispers into my ear, which is still a little burnt and frozen.
We need to move. We move as one. He grips my legs, and I comply. A vicious dance routine that makes my shaking seem part of my practiced walk and talk.
‘Where what who why where what who why?!’ He blares the chant in my ears until I’m begging him to calm down. My heart rate and business about my body stay the same. Erratic. Expected.
‘STOP!’ I scream, and smile and make a friendly comment to Sarah as I pass her by. He slits my throat with a dull blade. I catch the blood by cupping around the incision with my hand.
‘PLEASE,’ I try, and my voice is gone. The coughing doesn’t help, and blood splattering the saddle as I heft it into my arms, off the rack. He’s still adhered to my back his twisted, his gibberish convincing me to sweat.
‘You’re still a child, you’re still a child,’ he says, his voice garbled but flagrantly loud.
‘No, I’m not.’
Simon pins his ears as I settle the saddle into the correct position. I apologize to him.
No, not my horse. Don’t hurt him.
He steals my hands, and touches Simon for me. I lose my feeling, I can’t see or hear properly. It’s not where I am. He’s too in love with his control to notice.
We’ll always have each other.
You, I corrected. I’ll always have you.
Wooden. Her face was carved.
But when I spoke,
Her eyes moved,
Her lips were soft, her skin flexible,
No longer knotted and lacquered,
No longer molding and thin.
She was able to smile, and I could too.
My swollen medicine injection lips shined,
Like some glow sticks or fire embers.
And my stomach rotated
Around my spine,
Like it was my carousel.
And we would laugh,
And I never got the feeling I was lonely.
I never wondered why
My hands were losing fragments day by day,
Or why my laugh started to become a cough,
And then an ache,
And then nothing.
None of those uglinesses occurred right out to me.
I just thought,
I love her.
And why shouldn’t I?
“I’d cut open your skull so I could make you feel my hands.”
“Focus on the sun, it tells you where you stand.”
“I’m afraid to love you.”
“Won’t you just realize I’m ready to go ahead with something other than the silence.”
“I’d prefer it if you kissed my cheek instead. I’ve been waiting for your lips and I don’t want that dream to flutter away so quickly that I can’t feel it for a few more hours.”
“Wouldn’t you rather love yourself? That makes a hell of a lot more sense, I think, and wouldn’t you agree?”
“Remember, we met in a place that looked up at nothing, felt nothing, and we felt all we had to in order for it to be… Special I guess.”
“I can’t say what you want. I’m not anything like you want.”
“I’d rather fuck you than my hand.”
“Say my name, it looks like your lips are canoodling each other.”
“I laugh at you especially when you’re funny, but mostly when you look funny. Which is often haha.”
“I used to go to church, with my mom. But she hated it. So I missed out on a lot of the God shit. I don’t know if I can even pray, I don’t think he’s listening anymore.”