And there, on the edge of the high hotel bed – holding your head against my chest, curling your hair around my fingers – my heart learned a new rhythm. It’s a strange beat, uneven and convulsive. It shoves the blood to my head and halts the air in my lungs, numbs my fingers.
When I remember the look in your eyes or the reflections, the damned thing beats as if it wants to come out. It rings in my ears and shakes in my limbs, turns me stupid. I stand and I stare; I wait for the madness to ease, but lately it seems to grow longer.
I wish I could restore the old rhythm, but it’s lost. I left it at the door when I couldn’t knock. I left it on the bathroom sink when I sprayed your perfume on my arm and it burned; it still burns…
That night – our last – I cried in the shower, watching you wash off my burning skin, not knowing that you had crawled under it. I can still smell the perfume in the same place, where the skin is now peeling.
I said it.
Threw it in the grave, a handful of earth.
Whispered it from the noose, a last word.
I don’t know what to say to you. There are words rotting in my throat that I can’t let go, and they burn my lungs as I hold them. The fire you carried on your skin lit my eyes, but hell bloomed from it when you left..
A while ago, I turned myself into a mummy. I wrapped my body in a white ribbon; eyes and skin, lips and fingers.
You found the end when you came. And you pulled hard, so I spun. And I spun so fast, and my head fell back, and I laughed…
But my eyes were closed and I didn’t know that with every spin, and with every laugh, you got further, and further.
Now the ribbon’s gone and I’m naked. I have eyes and skin, I have lips and fingers; And for what?
It was closure we sought all those years ago. We didn’t find it. Instead, we found a door and pushed it open, so widely – it may never close. But my body crushes against it every time the reflections cling to my eyelids.
I am not ungrateful, we did it! Against life and the world we made us happen. And god, how we happened. But now I grieve your absence like an orphaned child; as if I’d never known it, as if it had been us since time itself, and the clocks have just shattered.
It was your concern for my happiness that turned the blood cold in my wounds. (I didn’t miss the indifference, but chose to ignore it.) Perhaps I’m selfish that I want to cause yours when you wish mine, severed and away.
I’ve propped my eyes open with rods and every word I write breaks another bone. I’ll write them until I’m flesh and splinters, so that your fire turns me to ash as it dies; isn’t this the only way I can kill it?
But the reflections will remain, carved on the grave and no fire will fade them. They’ll haunt, and haunt until there’s nothing but madness. Perhaps in madness there’s freedom. Perhaps in madness I’ll escape…
Don’t bow your head when you stand by this tree. Smile, and remember the steps you took through the forest, skipping and singing down the old path you re-build every once in a while, forever knowing where it leads.
Don’t bow your head when you stand by this tree, but close your eyes and slip through the noose. Forget the struggling limbs and the bulging eyes, and picture his tightening hands on your burning skin as your body gives up its search for another breath. It’s not coming.
I’ve noticed you darkness, standing by the door staring, waiting for my time to run out. I’d never forget you, old lover, and there’s nowhere to hide anyway; so don’t worry, I’ll come to you with my heart in my hands. As always, where else would I go?
I asked you to lend me the joy and you said the market isn’t favourable. But I signed, didn’t look at the clauses. I read the small print when I doubted the glory, and then knew I’ll be coming home.
Just dig my hole deeper this time, I’ve grown so sick of sunlight and hope.
You’ve laid my body on the cursed altar, and the ritual’s about to begin. This warmth is the start of the fire. Can you see the flames on the edge of the glass? Can you hear the screams, smell the burnt flesh?
Tomorrow the church will have turned to black smoke, fine ash drifting in the wind; and the shattered altar will shine glimpses of a wicked God.
But we are here and the church is sacred. It’s us..
I remember the words now, the ones my mother used to sing, half asleep, while she rocked me in her weary arms. And it took too long to drift off, and it felt as if she were dying. I’d place my ear on her chest and listen; she lives.
And she slept for so long, all the dolls were bored of their new dresses. And there were no book with pictures left, no more crayons. Was I hungry? Was I afraid? I’d place my ear on her chest and listen; she lives.
‘Un’te duci tu, mielule? / La pasune, domnule. / Ce sa faci tu, mielule? / Sa pasca iarba, domnule/