When I wake from the dream and wrap my body in the fading warmth of your ghost. You bleed through my pores and my limbs tense as I wait for the longing to fade..
I stare at my naked refection, see your hands on my neck and grasp them, but they fall through my fingers like sand. I see your head on my shoulder, your lips curved into a tortured smile and my body trembles and begs to shake you off.
It’s one of those days when your name lingers on my tongue like warm honey, and your resurected whispers turn the air to black smoke in my lungs.
I can’t hear the song in my bones anymore. It was loud when you came and it screamed through my veins when you left. Now it bleeds, faintly, from my ears when I hear your name and I shut it out.
I kill the violins every morning when my arms search my body for you and they find the tune in every piece of skin you touched. I wash it off, I peel it away.
I believed, like a fool, that I could make you go since you left. I believed I could be rid of you. But you live in the corner of my eye and in the tips of my fingers. You live, devil, and I fear that death itself can’t be rid of you.
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..
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…