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.

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Heartbeat

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.

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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..

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Unmummied

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?

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Reflections

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…

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Because I can’t hold on to the illusion. When I almost believe, when I can almost touch your face, you vanish and leave me like a held breath. And never do I feel colder, lonelier; never do I long for darkness more than when I wish I could stop fooling myself..

I grow and I laugh at myself, and then shrink back into this girl, too small for my shoes. You grab my hands and spin me around and I let my head fall back, and laugh like a maniac, drunk with your madness. I keep waiting for the day you’ll let go, when I spin so fast, and I fall and hit my skull against a stone and split it apart. Perhaps you’ll leave it then, my twisted mind. Perhaps you’ll set me free.

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Hands pressed against my lips, firmer, the breathless sound of your name echoes, echoes. One eye laughs, one weeps.

I crush the holy word with my teeth and it’s sour; both eyes weep.

.

I’d forgotten the taste I never knew. I’d forgotten it because I dug its hole with broken fingers. But the cracked earth sucked its sweetness and spat it out.

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Perhaps another tomorrow, then, huh?

I come back with the tide, mud in my belly and bulging eyes.

You walk past and the blood shoots out of the rotting heart,

black blood; dragging my face through the drying sand

i catch up, and you gather my limbs and stick them back,

carry me gently to edge of the mud; pour me out.

.

This resurrection has turned obscene

Perhaps tomorrow the wave will forget

an eye, or perhaps my entire head.

Satanic Jesus, let me die!

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His desert

He spits; hatred and darkness and blood.

turning and leaping in a hellish dance

of sneers and renewed curses,

the thunderous desert forgets to grow out

of the night.

.

Black lips and green cheeks, buried heads.

She forgets

how touching softness felt

between cacti and winds

her eyes bleed

skin peels and lips fall..

she lies still for a while

but here he comes

turning and twisting, spitting again

she covers her head with a hand

but the desert forgets its moons

and night grows

deeper

colder

eternal.

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