I Kissed You…

I kissed you at the apex of the maelstrom. I watched our world crumble as the rocks and stars fell from our skies. We hugged each other with such passion and we trembled, falling into the cracks somewhere between heaven and hell.
***
I woke up in a daze. My head pounded and my body felt like it spent the last couple nights drinking heavy liquor, thought I didn’t remember doing so. I ran my fingers through my hair and looked at my clock radio on my nightstand. It read seven thirty-five.

Crap, I thought to myself. I lifted the covers off my pale frame and walked, finally finding myself in the bathroom. I looked at the girl that looked back at me and wondered why was I even awake. My dark hair was matted to my head and my eyes were caked with dark eyeliner. I had dark marks running in a line down my neck and shoulder. Now, I remember what I did last night.

I turned on the faucet and cupped my hands to catch a drink of water, but I then, changed my mind when I saw the sate of my face.  I washed my face, washing off the black makeup, even though a couple minutes I was going to put some back on again. I brushed my white teeth vigorous and my tangled hair gently, placing it in a ponytail. I glanced back at the girl in the mirror. She looked backed and smiled, appearing not so deathly anymore.

I walked back to my room and found some jeans and a shirt on my floor. I put them on, knowing that they were dirty, but I was late, so I didn’t care. I tripped over a pair of heels I thought I wore yesterday, but couldn’t remember. Hell, they went with my outfit so I put them on and went downstairs.

My mother had decorated the house in a quaint way, touches of floral here and there, mixed with modern furniture and neon colors. I loved it, everything, but hated the fact that I saw the same thing every day.  I went down to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator, pulling out a juice container and then, a glass, pouring the orange liquid into it. I put the glass to my lips and sipped, but felt nothing. My throat was as dry as the Sahara on its hottest day, but yet, nothing quenched it. I poured another glass and gulped it down, still feeling dry. Maybe I’m sick, I thought. I still did have that headache and was feeling the need of staying in my bed all day, instead of going to school, which I was already late for.

I left my cup on the counter and walked into my parents’ room. I knew they already left for work, so I barged in and walked to their bathroom. I urged through their medicine cabinet, looking for aspirin, to claim my nerves. I found the tiny bottle and opened the lid, taking out a couple of capsules and shoving a few down my throat and the rest in my pocket. I replaced the cap and put the bottle back inside the cabinet, closing the door shut and making sure everything was in the same place as where I left it.

I turned around, leaving my parents’ room, when I noticed that the covers on their bed were heaving up and down, as if somebody was there. My parents were supposed to be gone, at their offices in the city. Who was in their bed?

I braced myself for the worse, knowing that I was doing something wrong for being in their room without permission, but my gut told me to lift up the cover and see what was under that sheet.

I lifted up the heavy green fabric. My mother lied there, not moving, though breathing heavily. She wore a pink muumuu and curlers in her hair and held a picture of me of when I was younger; a photo of us in a pumpkin patch, getting the bejesus scared out of us, when we realize the scarecrow in the patch was really just a man dressed up as one.

“Mom?’ I asked. She didn’t stir.

“Mama?” I called out again. Tears fell down her cheeks. Why wasn’t she listening to me? She sniffled and put the covers back over her head, mumbling something about being too cold and wanting to die.

I ran to the bathroom, slamming the door open. The reflection was wrong, all wrong. It showed the girl I thought I got rid of in the morning, the girl with the messed up hair and make-up, the girl wearing the beer-drenched clothes to a party, a party that she remembered going to, but didn’t remember leaving.  I touched my face, smearing the make-up, watching the black on the tip of finger turn into red.

What is happening? I thought. Everything was turning upside down. The headache I had in the morning was coming back. I place my hands in my head and sobbed. Why was this happening to me and what was it? My once perfect life was melting like candle wax and dripping in a downward drain. I looked up, back into the mirror and saw my face, bleeding. I looked at my arms. Chunks of flesh rolled down them and I watched the pieces burned into ash as they hit the floor. God, what was happening?

Just then, the floor opened. Flames and waves of molten rock washed out of the cracks. I stumbled, falling on to the floor, watching the lava melt everything that it touched.  I screamed every time it neared my body, feeling the immense heat from its fire. I wanted to close my eyes, but something told me to leave them open.

From out of the crack, a white body rose. It wore robes of white, blinding me eyes. I want to shield them from this light, but my hands remained, as if they were glued to the floor.

I looked in the creature’s eyes and it stared back at me, beckoning me with its glare. For some reason, I knew that this creature wanted to take me, take me deep inside that crack in the linoleum. It held out its hand, demanding me with its eyes to take it.

I shook my head ‘no’ and called out for help, but inside, I knew no one was listening. Besides, it was too late. The pale demon stretched out its arm and grabbed my ankle.  I struggled to grab on to something solid; the door handle, the sink’s piping, but my hands slipped.

The creature’s pulled me closer and closer. I screamed, begging for mercy, that I was too young to die. I could see it smile, as it if knew something I didn’t.

Its bony fingers ran through my hair, feeling every strand for its softness and its beauty. It placed its head on my chest as if it was trying to hear my heartbeat. I knew it had found it when it looked at me and grinned.

My body felt like it was on fire as the demon held me in its arms, holding me as it I was an infant. I started to cry as the creature lifted my head and I closed my eyes as it placed its lips on mine and sucked my life from out of me.

I woke up, springing to life. I was back in my room, back in my bed, covered with brightly colored sheets my grandmother bought for me. I felt my face and hair. No chunks of missing skin. I checked my arms. No burned flesh. I felt upon my neck. Even the hickies were gone. Everything that was supposed to be there was there. I heard a knock at the door.

“Honey,” my mom called out. She opened my bedroom door, finding her eldest child, crying like the little girl she thought she lost to make-up, boys, and late night parties. “Are you okay?”

“Mama…” I cried out, holding out my arms. Mom came running to me, dropping they laundry basket she held her in her arms. She looked at what she held now and asked once again what was wrong. I wiped my eyes and whispered nothing, looking at the black mascara that washed upon them with my tears, remembering the ash and the burning.

She ran her fingers trough my tangled hair and asked if I was going to that party, with my best friend Sarah, the party I said I desperately needed to go to. I shook my head ‘no’ and told her that I loved her and didn’t want her to let go of me. I felt her face smile as I told her that I wanted to spend the night, watching television with her and my father, a family tradition we haven’t done together since I was young.

Mom lifted my head with her hand and kissed my tear-stained cheek.

“You’ll be alright,” she said, patting my head. Mom walked away from me, smiling, but I knew that she was worried.

After a dinner of a deliver pizza, a pizza that before tonight I would never be so thankful to eat, my parents and I sat down in my living room, in front of the plasma big screen I once thought nothing of. I snuggled in the arms of my dad, the father I was so lucky to have. So many of my friends did not even know their fathers, due to long hours of work or the product of divorce. I once only knew him as a money tree, something to turn to when I need cash for gas or a concert, never appreciating the fact that he worked his hours to give that money in my so-call time if need.

We flipped through variety shows, comedy hours, and cartoons, not caring about how much time was passing us by, but enjoying each other’s company. The wee hours of the morning meant nothing until us; until we three all realized we were wrapped in each other’s lives and dreams that we weren’t looking at the world around us. Dad flipped in the late night news to catch up with the day’s events and sorrows.

The anchorwoman’s hair was hair sprayed perfectly in place, but she wore too much rouge, looking like she just ran the Boston Marathon. Her face looked pained, as if she was going to tell some depressing news.

“This just in,” she said. “The red Volkswagen that dove off Peterson’s cliff about two hours ago, contained four local high school students. Sarah Copeland, was driving and is suspected to be drunk at the time of this fatal accident.”

I gulped and my heart skipped two beats. My eyes grew wide before filling up with tears. I was supposed to be going to that party. I was supposed to be in that car. I was supposed to dive off that cliff. I was supposed to die.

Mom left the couch to get me tissues and dad held me close to his chest; his heart beat pounding with such intensity. Was he thinking the same thing I was? Was mom thinking the same thing?

I was supposed to die. I was suppose to die tonight, and yet, I was in my house, in my living, on my sofa, crying into my daddy’s arm, something I haven’t done since I was seven.

My mom came back with the tissues, wiping my face for a second time today. I gave her a sad smile of thanks, but the tears didn’t stop. She went over to kiss me, but I couldn’t feel her touch and in that instant, her warm face flashed to burning flesh and bone, then back to its normal state. I jumped, causing my father to hit my back. I coughed and was startled to see a flake of ash come from out of my mouth.

To My…

Love rarely comes down to a choice. You don’t do it because you choose to do it; you do it because you are supposed to. I don’t know what you do, when you do it, what time it is, what I’m feeling, what you’re feeling, whether it is a reaction- an action or inaction; all I know is that you do it and I fall in love.

My insides feel fragile, like crystal. I may shatter. And all of a sudden, I know you. I know everything. I know it from the insides of glass-like me.

You have always been an optimist. People call you sunny and cheerful and buoyant and ebullient; they are annoyed by your unflagging positive outlook so much that my sister once asked you if you were the child of Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbell. You smiled with your infamous toothy grin and you said, “Nah. Tink doesn’t have the hips for childbirth,” knowing of the pain I’ve gone though while fingering scars on my wrists.

This is our unspoken agreement: we don’t want the world and we don’t want to change it. We want our little corner to fill with family, love and laugher. To fill with wind-chimes tinkling in the wind on our front porch where we often sit talking, reading the newspaper, watching hummingbirds flit from one crimson bloom to another on the vine that flourish on the posts of the porch. Sometimes we’ll unfold a card table to put between the wooden chairs. I’ll crush you at Scrabble. You’ll dominate Trivial Pursuit.

After the wedding, we won’t send much on entertainment. No more Hollywood soirees. No weekends in Vegas. Being on the front porch with each other will offer as much pleasure as being in Paris. We’ll be saving for the things that really matter, To allow me to change careers… Kids too. We are saving for children. Four or five. On certain holidays, when we are feeling most sentimental, seven doesn’t seems too many. Money doesn’t matter, as long as we are free.

Free, you will eat marzipan and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and Doritos until you either grin and lick your lips or make yourself sick. You haven’t thrown up since childhood, but even vomiting is an affirmation of life, something you live for.

Free, you will celebrate our first anniversary by taking me to the state fair and winning a huge stuffed teddybear. It will be fluffy and white and cute. Even as a teenage boy you wanted a teddybear, wanted to feel its fur on your face, its safety as you clung to it. Now, you want your unborn child to have one.

Free, you will let me bask in my own beauty and happiness. You, more than anyone, adore the soft flush in my cheeks when my heart is full. You rest your head on my shoulders as I attempt to mimic a song off the radio on the black and ivory keys.

Free, you will tell me secrets. Late at night you will say, the secret is not to think because we think in words. Words can’t contain some truth. The secret is to feel. And I’ll look up, startled as you take another sip of soda and wink, before focusing your attention back on the football game.

Free and you will be my constant. Free and you will make love to me. Free and you will fight battles and will win. Free and you will hope. Free and you will live.

You will live, and then, you will die. There is no point denying it.

No matter what I try to do, you are going to die. No matter what you do, you can’t change it. At seventy-two, you’re all clear of the cancer that held you for almost a year. However, the universe has a way if correcting itself. At seventy-four, it comes back. I can see it all, right now in front of my eyes. They whisper. They call me the widow who doesn’t cry. A title to my replace my lost Mrs. Doe. “We are sorry for your loss…” A young man in an elegant gray suit stands before me. Sorry for my loss. He blocks the light from the living room window and holds flowers fit for a lover. I am no lover. I will never be a lover again.

The room becomes a sea of perfumed women in sequined black clothes with gray hair, gold jewelry, cheap cardigans, low heels and pop socks with emergency tissues in their handbags, next to their lipsticks and mobile phones. In the corner, our eldest son sits on the reclining chair, surrounded by the women too old to stand. Tobias searches for the sorrow in my face and bewildered, I cannot bring myself to perform.

Men in suits flood the corridors. They have showered and shaved your death away but they still smell of the warmth outside, of over-heated rooms and August sweat. Some lean on the banister and talk politely at the foot of the stairs. Others block the front door.  I look around and there are so few that look tearful or red-eyed from earlier. They are somber, conversing respectfully in low voices, their faces masks of seriousness. It’s like a scene from every other funeral I’ve been ever been to. It’s impersonal. It’s hideous. Hideous like the fear that will imprison me with days full of voices that barely penetrate the growing, muffled ache in my head. Days full of half breaths, each full breath catching in my throat. Until the day I realize, it is about feeling. You were right. It’s about feeling every feeling, and it’s about living. It’s about feeling a voodoo drumbeat in your heart, blooding pounding in your ear, liquid gold pumping through your muscles. It’s about life, not death. Your life. My life. Our life.

But now, my apartment is dark. Gray light filtering though the permanent dust on the tiny kitchen window. I collapse on the sofa after switching on the lamp in the corner of the room. Smiling at the ceiling, freedom rushes through me, like holding my hand out the window of a speeding car.

I can’t wait. I can’t wait for you.

Beautiful.

She writes poetry on her arms. When people ask her why, she tells them it’s so she never forgets. Honestly, she just wants other people to read her words and tell her that she’s beautiful. She knows most people don’t understand it. She knows she doesn’t understand it.

She knows that when she’s dying the cells of her skin with blue ink, she doesn’t understand why. She doesn’t understand how a laugh can taste like strawberries or how eyelids have secrets written upon them. She just simply knows that is how she’s feeling at that moment.

Her pretty words strung across her dark skin will tie lips together and will make fingers twitch. She’ll be beautiful. She is beautiful. She just wants to hear it in order to believe it.

The Rules of Love

You were taught the rules.  Never get close. Never love anything that doesn’t love you back. To be doubly safe, don’t love anything at all.

They say your eyes are the brownest of browns, that they’re a kaleidoscope of ambers, honeys and maples. But you know it’s more than that. Your eyes scream the secrets you been dying to speak aloud. You can’t breathe because the secrets are stealing space inside your lungs and they don’t leave any more room for air. Those secrets are in your blood stream and will soon start clogging your arteries. You are made of secrets. All of those secrets.

And when they ask you what’s wrong, all you want to do is tell them. You create conversations in your head and think the words are close to escaping from your lips but none of the right ones ever form. They wait for an answer, but you just stay silent. You apologize but they heard it a million times before. It doesn’t mean anything any longer. Especially if you don’t mean it.

Then, they will leave and forget all about you. It’s better that way, for all of them and the people that they actually love and who love them back. It’s easier, but your heart continues to shatter into a million teenier pieces. You’re empty. So empty.

You were taught all the rules.  Never get close. Don’t love anything. It’s safer that way.

Pornography

My bank account was in the red. In bold numerical symbols, periods and dashes, Wells Fargo informed me that I owed them two hundred bucks. It was money that I didn’t have, money that I haven’t seen in weeks. Living in New York City had sucked me dry financially. With the job market still in turmoil and old roommates who took my rent money and ran, I was on the verge of being homeless.  I didn’t know anyone minus the random guy I met online a few weeks back. I never thought that I would be the girl who went on dinner dates just so she wouldn’t go hungry at night but I was. I charmed an older man into buying me expensive pork tenderloin meals and somehow, managed to keep my pants on after our good night kiss. He stopped calling me, probably after realizing I’d never give myself up to him. I resorted to the internet when I couldn’t take my hunger pains any longer. It was time to find someone else with money to manipulate.

I combed through my usual meal tickets: Match, OKCupid, Craigslist. No one stood out. My stomach rumbled and I wondered if the homeless men I saw every morning begging for handouts really did make more than 30K a year doing so. I heard that those folk were secretly millionaires, bored with their luxurious lifestyle. Maybe I could seduce one of them. I shut my eye lids and fell asleep on my sheetless air mattress.

I spent the next morning at the laundry mat, checking the dusty floor for quarters. I had luck once and found a fist full of change but today wasn’t as fortunate. I sat down on a bench, frustrated but enjoying the cool AC, other luxury I haven’t felt in weeks. I picked up a recent but abandoned copy of ‘the Village Voice,’ flipped to the music reviews and finally, the job classifieds. Nothing was listed. There were drivers wanted but of course, I didn’t have a license and living in New York, had no desire to get one. I turned to the last page and read a blurb about a website needing ‘models.’ I often wondered if things got truly bad, would I resort to prostitution. No; much as I loved Soderberg’s ‘the Girlfriend Experience,’ I could never be a hooker. But posing nude… ‘Earn up to $1000!’ the ad promised. That sentence turned me on. I sent an email to the listed address as soon as I got home.

Ned was short but attractive with ginger curls and full arm-sleeves of ink. He went to school for political science but later learned he would make bank talking suggestive photos of cute girls. He was professional and kind and was excited to shoot me. I met him three days later at his Park Slope studio after emailing him fuzzy pictures of my face and breasts. We talked about the end goal of the shoot and he asked me if there were any positions I was uncomfortable with. I shook my head and told him that I was flexible like Gumby. Ned smiled and nodded in approval. I took off my clothes and he took out his camera.

The type of photographs we decided to take catered to a certain demographic but the group was growing. Babes and their bicycles, hot girls with tattoos and studs, riding their hot fixed gears. Mainstream porn was losing its touch and the industry looked at other creative outlets for inspiration and money. I bought my blue Schwinn Victory to the set and leaned over it in various poses draping across the metal handlebars like tan fabric. I did feel like a model, with my wing-tipped eyeliner and straighten hair, brushing across my face. I spoke to Ned the entire time, asking questions about his background and career. He was a true southern gentleman, who constantly complimented my curves and sweetly asked if he could touch me in order to pose. After a few test shots and a quick lighting adjustment, the shooting began, the shutter on the camera never ceasing to stop. Spread eagles. Vessels stretched open. Flying fingers. The pretty color combination of my bicycle’s navy frame against my dark skin. We listened to Vampire Weekend and talked about the future of porn. Ned clicked and I posed. What a shapely form. I felt high and smiled the entire time.

A week later, I met Ned back at his studio. It was lightly raining out as he poured me Earl Grey in a tin cup. I opened the check his production company cut for me. Six hundred dollars and no cents, it read. Perfect. It was money and I needed it badly. I let Ned explore my body for an hour or two before I walked through the wind and water, looking for a bank I could make a deposit at.

One Night Stand

I let him slip his tongue in my mouth. It tasted like the two bottles of chardonnay we managed to down at that new French restaurant over on 1st Street. Well, he did more of the drinking than I did. While he sipped, I slowly ran my finger around the rim of the glass and hung on to every one of his spoken words, staring into his abnormally green eyes. Trying to be flirty; not too desperate, but not too suspicious. He let go of his kiss and turned around, fumbled in his coat pocket for his keys and finally, let me in inside his apartment.

His bachelor pad was of the typical Brooklyn-male norm; a small one bedroom, artistically decorated with multicolored furniture, a large entertainment center and a handful of abstract paintings mounted on the egg-shelled colored walls.

The thing that got me was that his apartment was immaculately clean. The cleanliness didn’t fit his personality and the demeanors I observed during dinner.

“Can I take your jacket?” he asked, removing his and gently laying it on the arm of the couch.

“Sure. Thanks,” I replied, handing him my coat. The apartment’s air conditioning hit my bare arms, giving them goose bumps. It was silent between us, just for a moment, but we both knew what was to be expected. It lingered on the tips of our tongues and in the bitter air.

I smiled sweetly, as if it was a notion for him to come closer to me. He took my hint and wrapped his arms around my waist; dipped his head so our lips touched. The simplicity of the kiss turned violent rapidly; our tongues racing, his hands running through my hair, my hands unbuttoning his shirt.

We somehow made it to his bedroom, where I threw myself on the bed. He followed and began to kiss me once again with such intensity. My fingers nimbly unbuttoned the last button and he took a moment to throw his shirt to the floor. My lips moved to his clavicle. It tasted of an alcohol-based cologne. I hated that taste, but continued to lick his throat, pretending to take pleasure out of it.

I began to breathe a bit heavier as his hand moved down my side to the hem of my blouse. He lifted it up, pulling it over my head, exposing my bra. Using his thumb and index finger, he undid the clasp and tossed the bra over his shoulder. He stared at my chest in awe and I had to smile at his sheer coyness.

His lips moved down to my stomach. My abdomen throbbed beneath his touch as he unbuttoned my pants, making haste taking them off. He touched the inside of my thighs with his gentle finger tips. My body tensed and everything became warm.

I didn’t want to tell him to stop. My hand dropped to his waistband and I unzipped his pants. He kicked them off and I helped his slide his boxers to his feet. I climbed on top of him, sitting on his pelvis. I leaned down and whispered in his ear.

“Do you have any ties?”

My question must have got him of his sexual daze because he gave me an odd look.

“Ties?”

I kissed his soft cheeks. “Yeah, ties,” I said, giving back a playful grin. “Let me play.”

He kissed my back and got up. I watched his naked form walk to the standing bureau in the corner of the bedroom and rummaged through a drawer, pulling out a fist full of brightly colored ties.
He walked back and climbed into bed with a humongous smile on his face.

“This is kinky,” he laughed. I giggled in return, grabbing the ties from his clenched fist. Trying to be seductive, I tied his wrists to the bedposts, making the knots tight and taunt. He couldn’t escape even if his screamed and begged for mercy. I kissed the length of this torso and smiled again.

We began to kiss violently again; bodies thrusting. I dug my nails into his smooth skin. He groaned, feeling a shock bolt up his spine. I was loving it. I looked down at his body. With his arms outstretched, he almost looked Christ-like. His face was glowing with sweat and beneath my fingernails, blood. The scratched I dug rung deep. I knew he was feeling pain. We groaned together, making love with each other.

My orgasm ceased and I was brought back down to reality. The thought that was buried in the back of my brain begin to tick. I leaned toward the front of the bed, grabbed a pillow from under his head and smiled as I held it against his face, pressing it down as hard as I could. He began to panic, yelling out muffles cries for help. His body struggled under mine; his limbs shaking violently. The sight turned me on. I rose and he fell dead. That lifeless body. My burning desire.

I bit both his lips, drawing blood and did the same to his ear lobes, fingers, the tip of his nose and nipples. His nipples were the most beautiful of all; little studs of skin standing straight on edge. I wanted them, wanted to feel his pinkish skin in my teeth; lap his radiant blood with my tongue.
Grabbing them both by the areolas, I peeled his nipples off his chest. The wounds bed freely and I licked the exposed muscle. My teeth found the ripped edge of skin and I torn flesh down, from his chest to his navel.

I pounded him. I’m sure I was making myself bleed, but this was the best sex I had in a long time. I then looked for something I could bruise his body with. I reached over to his nightstand and grabbed a lamp, raising it over my head. I took in a gulp of air and with all my might, slammed it down on his head. I knew I heard his skull crush. I did it again and again and again. His face became distorted, unrecognizable. Those high cheekbones I admired over dinner fell low. Bone fragments stuck out of his thick cheeks like macabre flower petals. I kissed his bruised lips and pried them open with my finger; the majority of his teeth were lodged in the back of his throat. Knowing that made me smile.

Taking the lamp’s cord in my hand, with the plug between my fingers, I took the pries and started to stab him, first his face, then his bloody chest and arms. He was so beautiful now.
I climaxed for the last time. I finished stabbing his body; his back, his legs.

I flipped him back over and I wrapped the cord around his neck; so tight, his face turned purple and seemed like it was about to burst.

I stood beside the bed, feeling happy and magical. Nothing was lovelier to see than his mutilated body. I could make love to it all over again. I was proud of myself. He was quicker to kill than the others, especially the last four.

His bed linens were drenched with his blood. It gleamed bright red and looked luxurious. I quickly wiped off everything I might have left my finger prints on and put my clothes back on. Holding my hair with my hand, I kissed his gorgeous mouth for the last time. I touched his torn cheeks and whispered in the place where his ear should have been.

“You were amazing,” I smiled running my fingers through his hair. I blew him a kiss as I walked from his bedroom to the living room. I picked up my jacket and using its sleeve, I closed the door and left the building, enjoying the silent scream in my head, trying not to orgasm as I caught a cab home.

TONIGHT.

“Let’s go through a couple drinks and bond over our shitty childhoods and talk about the people we should have been by now. Let our elbows touch and we’ll pretend we both don’t want it. Or let’s meet at the bar and talk about nothing because we need everything. I’ll flirt and grin into my drinks and try to maintain eye contact when the rest of you is leading me on. Or let’s kiss before our courage wears out. I’ll then unzip your dress and you’ll unbutton my collar and everything will be now, out in the open…”

That’s what you said. I looked into your eyes and felt your sweat. Your bare chest rubbing against mine. My naked legs wrapped around yours. Your hot breath in my ear. I finished my drink and took your hand, leading you out of the bar.

He

He makes me want to write poetry
Sing songs of emotion-filled desire
Writing scores on pieces of parchment
Wishful daydreams.

He makes me want to draw and paint
The arch of his perfect cheekbones- the ideal sketch
Artful hands, winding fingers, soulful spirit, bright eyes
Beautiful melodies.

He makes me want to dance
Long and limber, meant for graceful movement
Tips running through my bangs
‘Round; circle thee.

You make me not want to be myself
Clammed up in a corner, gawking at the chat and flirt
Murky heart dying to experience your gentle touch and echoing voice
Please, just say my name
Call me your love just once
I will never have you

Your Ex-Lover is Dead

Live through this and you won’t look back.

Billie called me this morning at seven. The sky was changing from a deep dark blue to a hazy gold. There was richness in the air. The scent of the fallen leaves itched my nose; my feet crunched them, ripping the leaves from the seams of their steams.  I was running along the side of the road near the toll bridge when I answered. I stopped, listened and dropped my mobile in the mud.

Jeff and I were once lovers. He gave his everything, bits and pieces of emotions that I toyed with. When I was a child, I liked to squeeze puddles of glue into the palm of my hand and play with it. That was what Jeff was to me. He was my glue. My putty paste. He said that we were destined to grow old together, the way both sets of our parents did. I never believed in the sharing of one’s soul; just because some attractive man liked the same bizarre things I did didn’t make him my ultimate soul mate. Yet, we stayed together, from being introduced by a friend, our first date to our last.

Everyone could see that Jeff was perfect. He had kindness in his eyes and wore his heart on his sleeve. He did simple gestures to prove his devotion. Chocolate chip pancakes were his specialty and were a given after an intense night of passion. Tulips were secondary and were since the first date when he proudly presented a dozen yellow ones to me. He constantly wore a sticky sweet smile on his face and always spoke the best of people and their characteristics. And when those people were sad, lonely or depressed, he used his grandfather’s old sayings to bring them up. When there is nothing left to burn, you must set yourself on fire, was a favorite of his.

It was nighttime when we broke up. We hated hearing the sound of each other flossing, picking out chunks of food between our teeth. I stayed in the bathroom, preparing myself for the words I was about to speak. I felt brave. I finished washing my face with cold creme and Jeff came in. He said I had the face of porcelain doll despite my many scars. He walked over and kissed my forehead. I clamped my lips shut. Something cold emerged from my skin and I no longer wanted to be touched. I leaned back, but he took my hand. Not saying anything, Jeff put a silver ring on my finger. I told him to leave, that I was not sorry I that I met him. I wasn’t sorry it was over. I was not sorry. There was nothing to save. He left. I still wore the ring.

Billie said I was the sole subject in the note that Jeff wrote. It’s nothing but time and a face that you lose, he wrote. I loved you more than life itself. I’m very sorry. I decided then and there that I wasn’t going to the funeral. I looked at the silver trinket he gave me that evening in the bathroom. I took it off and placed it on the ground, pressing it in the dirt with my sneaker. Then I picked up my phone and ran across the bridge.

Wedding Night

We are dropped off from the party late, several hours more than we expected. The hem of your white dress is wet from water dripping off the rooftops. You don’t care. I look over at you. I’ve seen you happy before, but never this joyful. My heart is full of love tonight and I see yours smile through your eyes.

After I unlock the front door, we trudge up the stairs. Our small apartment is decorated with twinkling Christmas lights that you refuse to take down, claiming they’re “too pretty.” You take off your heels, put a vinyl on the record machine and ask for one last dance. I take you in my arms and you wrap your skinny limbs around my shoulders. I breathe in your hair with its curls and baby’s breath as we move slow like honey to the beat. I think back to the time I first saw your face at that crowded bookstore; times spent laughing, drinking cups of cold coffee; getting lost in each other’s stories and in Chinatown; disappointments we shared as we cried, holding each other like this. I thought about today and how I promised to protect you. You are perfect. Today was perfect.

Our song ends and we lay in bed. I don’t want to take off my tie. You don’t want to take off your dress. I rest my head on your chest. The beading from the bodice lightly scratches my face. I don’t care. I watch you drift away, ready to chase dreams. I think once more about my own and how I just married the woman from them. With heavy exhaustion, I kiss my wife gently and fall asleep.