...But That Was [Yesterday]
Song on repeat, fingers frigid from typing, everything around me perfectly still. We're talking about dying, about family in the hospital, about relationships that never were, chances that perished almost as quickly as they had become. I think about fire, about how much tragedy stains my heart, how much sorrow clogs my breath. The boyfriend who committed suicide, the woman who was almost my mother, dragged to death, pregnant, under a truck. Family wrapped in white sheets, counting minutes. A different parent, one of many, confused, waiting to die. There was a phone-call. Later, at some unknown time, there will be another, and perhaps the person on the line and I will cry together.I’m helplessly needless and needless to say I owe you.
Helplessly needless and needless to say I owe you.
Outside is cold, the rain has half frozen, but I expect colder still. Clothed in frost, in the shirt of someone I used to love, winter is crawling through the windows, offering loneliness in place of flowers, memories of years when I still had a future. They play out like beads on a string of days, tallied in small bursts, bright but too long ago. How is it that days are so long, while years are so short? Fractions of lifetime stretched out over bone. Cells replicating. I used to believe that one day would be easier. Soon I will be too old for it. I will be done, the last page written. The book closed. Somewhere out there, past the glass, there is snow. Well I’d wait ten thousand picks for just one more chance, just one more chance to see your face again.
The people around me do not know how to cure this sorrow. Tender, they insist on holding me or pet my hair, as if rocking silently is enough. Shivering, I require more, to engage, to pull my intelligence out from my pain. Perspective as everything. (Not everything broken can be repaired.) On the east coast is a grandfather, lungs filling with fluid, and a boy near the phone. We write back and forth, filling the void with comforting words, distractions, poetry, and rough jokes. We write back and forth and I do not know if I am helping. I do not know if I am like my friends, heartfelt yet inadequate, offering solace that would comfort me, but not them.Well I’d pull, teeter away, at the earth with my teeth, the earth with my teeth to touch your face alive.
The piano kicks in, quiet, insistent, with a sound like birds. I am collapsing, fracturing, splintering, shivering into pieces. If someone were to touch me, I would explode, shrapnel embedded in every wall, with a sound like a wounded animal, terrified and very, very young. You lie helplessly still as your face falls apart.
You lie helplessly still as your face falls apart.
My stress betrays me. Inside of my belly, chemicals misfire, hormones fail. I do not release an egg. "Progesterone secretion is prolonged because estrogen levels are low". My womb is lost, continues singing for fertility, even with the map misplaced. The walls thicken, then slough. Bleeding seven days, eight, now thirty. A flood. I grow pale. The red spills like an endless creek, enough to fill a pail. I am a tributary, coloured scarlet. Chunks of flesh escape me as big as the palm of my hand. My breath vanishes, the world glitters, and suddenly exhaustion, fatigue. It is too much effort to ask my heart to beat. I cannot move. My body is a heavy as lead, my veins filled with gold. With wax and wires and hair from the back of your head.
With wax and wires and hair from the back of your head.
With my blood, so sleep. I am awake in the dark, endlessly so. My breath solidifies, but my dreams do not. Instead I write, I reply, my back-log of messages attacked, finally, until dawn, the sun a smudge of gray the same tenor as a cough. To a former lover, lost for too long, I write, "Your silver hair makes me think of feathers, of flight, and the purity of light seen through the fractures of a crystal. Perhaps you are, in fact, slowly turning into a dove, one the colour of lightning, a tongue like glass and a brain ripe with electricity." Our love was a wonderful thing, poetry balanced on edge, the quirky, deprived, and mad meeting together as one. Maybe somewhere is a world where it worked out.Well, I can make your face brand new.
Well, I can make your face brand new.
We stay up late, my current love and I, an ordinary history of affection warped by misunderstandings, his lack of experience, the way he abandoned us the first time we fought. Where do we go from here? Defining what is wrong is only a first step, almost a year late, too late, almost a year since it all began. My eyes are glued shut with salt, hot and sad. His arm bleeds where it scraped against the side of the bed. My role has been counselor, not partner. Tearing words from his tongue has been almost impossible, the squeezing of blood from a stone. Together we have been teaching him responsibility, and though he is quick, he resists. La da la da la da da da da da da da da da da
Dawn painting the top of the mountains, the world's orbit sliding day into place. The urge to shift from bed, to draw on the window, withers against the memory of warmth, of shifting discussions, the lace of conversation drifting over my eyes like something imagined from a far away land.You are warm, you are warm
There are only four ways for a relationship to end; stuck together or split apart, drowned with misery or flavoured with subtle joy. Duality doubled, basics, building blocks, the future laid out as cabled strings that tie lives together. Abandonment, paperwork, making tomorrow always better than today. I fought for us until he apologized, truth the most harrowing weapon of all, and then my heart burst, as if there was nothing left inside the pain but exhaustion, terrible, cruel, but free. Even so, we are lucky. Now, no matter how it turns out, as a couple or merely friends, we will find peace. We'll love each other until death do us part.Come take my hand and I’ll take your hand
And I will bring you out
Come take the line and I’ll take the line
And I will pull you out
In the sun.