if you ever read this, don’t misunderstand.

what makes someone desirable? is my question as I stare into the glass, running the toothbrush in circles over my teeth, foam around my swollen lips. it’s been four minutes since you drove away.
tonight we sat and talked in between phone calls, the light golden on our tired faces. there were occasional touches, a chair pulled close, an opening up of something, of the past, maybe the present. but mostly I enjoyed being next to you, being your friend.
you told me you couldn’t have this relationship with other girls, and I agreed, sitting in the passenger seat as you drove me home in the quiet darkness.

I wondered about the girls you’d written notes to, the ones you spoke first to, the girl you really loved way back when. and there is no regret, only a curiosity inside me. what makes someone desirable?

Curious about what you see when you look at me because I think the others share your eyes. and why do I want to be desired anyway. Curious and circular my mind. I don’t push it, whatever it is. it’s only the night–the cold air and the visible breath, golden street lights, drunk men, your hoodie, your car, your disjointed words and thoughts, your eyes on me, your eyes turned away, turned inward, your regret, your not wanting to be comforted by me, the softening of edges, the opening up of something, the closing, the driving away, the driving away, the quick goodnight, and now the toothbrush, circles, foam, staring into glass, and my question still,
what makes someone desirable?

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for all this lovespeak

for all your talking, you haven’t got much to show.

why do you make me feel ashamed of weakness? why the silence that meets my tears?
why turn your head in embarrassment? when I am okay bleeding?

in my mind I sit across from you, the plastic table hard, the seats too cushioned and tall– claustrophobe. I stare at you, your hair, how the sunlight falls on it and makes it golden, even more so, and your eyes dazing in and out, what are you thinking about? I sit across from you, make small talk, look out the window occasionally and exclaim about the sky, how blue it is, the clouds, how they move, and inside I am dying to ask you who I am to you, if anyone, if anything at all. “recognize” has latin roots meaning “to think again.”  I sit across from you, I call you dear friend, and I mean it, I hope. but a small insecure part of me also holds onto the ends of those words, the ends of love
and care
and thank you. soft-spoken. sincere.

holding onto those ends, why do I do that? I’m still afraid to love in freedom. love-do more than lovespeak. still afraid of not getting at least a little bit back. am I wrong to fear? I sit across from you and wonder, I slurp my chickpea soup, it’s lukewarm.

 

biking in the rain

the sweet surrender of it, first the toes sparkling and then the pavement, the whole world glistening. rain falling, and leaves, too, the shhhhh of wet speed, everything silent and silver and alive.

wanting to share it with someone, the color.

wanting it alone.

flowers pressed against the floor, bright orange, thin as paper. the relentless wet, like spit, quick, hitting the face, slow… sliding down the slope of nose, the scented lips.

shhhh

the rain it rustles, if you listen closely, has a rhythm to it.

shhhhhhhh

someday maybe i will share this with someone,

the vision of glass falling and muddy waves,
the giddy gliding,
clothes wet and hanging off like second skin, free–
we’re washing wet outside, the world
a tub, and time,
mine to give–
given generously.

biking in the rain, the sweet surrender of it.

and we feel this ache inside

I am so dissatisfied with the shy smiles, the guarded glances, the hands held for seconds only to separate. the hi’s hello’s how are you’s. I feel the ache inside in the silence afterward. in the silence after passing you. I just wonder about you a lot. too often, probably. and my re-thinking of you met with nothings — they hurt me. I am constantly wondering if I am self-delusory. when the leaves are falling around us like snow in a snow globe, when your eyes are gray, when you walk with your head down low, when you fail to hold your smile and I see the brokenness inside, the anger inside, the hunger inside. I make no sense except in my head. my thoughts move too quickly, like the wind takes them, like the blurring bike takes them, lays them out on pavement cracking in the cold autumn air. so much I hold, so much I lose. I feel the ache inside.

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dawn through a window from home

“hope you’re well”

it sounds more like a platitude than a prayer. But I do hope you’re well, separated as we are by mile markers and painted roads, oceans, craggy mountain ranges, lonely plains. Well. do you hear the longing in that? the lingering l’s? I wish I knew what you looked like now, though I don’t want you to see me. I’m learning a lot about myself, too much to say or summarize into sentences. I wish I could show you my mind. (I wish I could see my own mind.) I am thankful for borrowed words, for words written online and in journals, in the margins of used books. Thankful for words that resonate, the ones that leave residues inside my heart. (I come back to them.) Thankful for sentiments about silence because I too find myself unable to utter any noise. Understand me. I grow scared to spill words onto pages, each letter like a grain of sand or soot dragged and dropped across the wide expanse of white. The sky, too, is always white here. It’s hard to look up at it and wonder if the sun you see, that lone star, looks the same where you are. And the nights are dark and rainy; there is no moon. I’m growing here, learning here, sharing stories with strangers here. More listening than talking, I think. Speaking in silences… like I do to you. But I hope you’re well. I really do.