It’s 12:35am and we’ve stopped in Katowice. Border control I imagine. It’s begun to rain and the water slides down the window, creating a map of veins. On the journey down some trickling streams catch the station lamps and pulse in the light, a hospital heart monitor acting the metronome for breath and bodily function.
My eyes sting from too many hours awake but I continue to watch the little rivers from the train car, now empty except for me, now quiet except for the low whir of the resting engine and the slow, sputtering wetness outside. The rhythmical throb of the rivulets mirrors the beats of my calm and steady heart, and I can’t help but think that it’s the rain that is keeping me here.
Is this body mine?
I’m a guest in my own home
When I look without.
I curled effortlessly to meet your gaze
and with those two kinds blades
you cut me down from on high.
And I let you melt my strength away
as I welcomed back what was meant to be
kept at arm’s length.
Because the twisting that was
supposed to happen no more
had never been so graceful, so easy.
I tailored myself to your shape;
The ease with which we weaved
would have made a serpent
in the brush turn green.
In my ears laid the rush of exhalations
and in the distance a soft voice sang,
howling shapeless, murmured words
to the tune of our desires.
And the love that wasn’t
meant to be uttered
hung from our lips like
dangling magnets that
reached then repelled,
repelled and then reached.
Hesitancy was washed away
by the moon, which bathed
my skin in an even bruise;
You kissed every purple place.
I had returned to a familiar space,
placing my hands on the walls,
the floors, the ceilings
to remember how comfort felt.
Then gentle explorations
turned to clutches and clings:
I dirtied the walls,
I scuffed the floors,
I hung from the ceilings,
but I never left a mark.
Only my delicate scent
that was lifted from your body
and onto the sheets as you twisted awake
and found my eyes in the early light.
And in that smiling silence we stayed,
happy to lie in last night a little longer.
Lend me your eyes dear
I want to see the bright world
Through your wide lenses
Lend me your hands dear
So that I may know this sweet
Flesh I live inside
Lend me your breath dear
I want to expire, mid-kiss,
And fill up with you
Lend me your heart dear
So that I can house it safe
And love its flutter
Remember me, just as I was
Encase me in amber if you must
Polish my memory to keep away the rust
And then leave me be for a while
Remember me not as your ghost
But as that time of dusk, with the light you love most
Go on, freeze our harvest, keep the molecules close
And then grow something fresh for the spring
Remember me in color and light
Render me vibrant in your perfect mind’s eye
Marigolden by day, painted crimson at night
And then take out a new pad and pen
Remember me: your precious stone
A gem you once pocketed when walking alone
In your pocket I stayed, your warmth was my home
And your striding, it lulled me to bed
Remember me fondly, my protector, my friend
But if you are falling for me once again
Love me as I am now, not what I was then
Because now I’m a different beast
(photo cred to Michelle C.)
Stop being a fish
Ever-searching for water;
You’re already wet.
Sometimes when I’m alone
Or when it rains
I’ll lay out the map
Of your body in the lap
Of my mind and
Trace all the miles traveled
With fingers as fine and
As soft as the breath
On the back of my neck
Where you’d whisper
“I love you” in the dark.