In this story, I’m at a poetry lounge by myself listening to some chick with dreads mangle Sean Paul’s “I’m Still in Love” with the sort of earnest faux-Jamaican accent that only a really white person can muster. I’m wearing red lipstick and I’m alone and I think I’m trying to make some poetic statement about self love but I can only think of you and how much fun we’re having trying to ruin each other.
In this story, we’re running around San Francisco trying to be lovers, trying to pretend that we’re two pieces of a set that belong together but truth is we are only borrowing each other in the dark, coming alive at night beneath the moon and slinking back to our owners in the morning.
This is the weekend for lies.
We’re rushing into cabs, laughing with all the air that our pathetic lungs can muster and we’re falling into each other and kissing each other’s noses and we’re lying on white bed sheets when the first clear pictures of Pluto are released and you turn to me and say “You’re the most beautiful planet I’ve ever seen.” and because I’m a writer I say “Is that a metaphor? Because that’s a terrible metaphor.” and I wonder if you’ll use that line with her too when this is over.
You ask me why I cannot love you calmly, with a belly full of good will, all wifely. I can only love you with teeth, with a mouth full of so many temporaries, with such desperation.
But by God, I want to be soft for you.
In this story, it’s Valentine’s Day and my friend tells me that she’s lonely and she makes it sound like something to be ashamed of.
I tell her that there is nothing wrong in craving touch. More than our minds, our bodies have learnt how to cave into another, to shed the skin touched by the previous to welcome the present.
You don’t need another person to make you feel complete but let’s face it, there is something completely holy about finding a person whose sermons make your temple come alive.
There is no shame in wanting someone, baby.
In this story, I’m a traveller. On the road to finding myself, I find that all my intersections have led to you.
I am not soft.
I am edges and human and flaws.
You should stick to the girl with the weak voice and the manipulative bible verses.
You wanted ordinary yet you want me to keep running around beaches with you.
You show up unbeckoned into everything I write, recklessly intrusive.
I have tried to rid my ink of you but you sprawl and make claim
to the things you shouldn’t.
We’re still the same people.
still the same terrible, awful people,
bleeding into each other.
Remember how I begged you to love me?
But now, I am the Delilah to your Samson, loving you unfairly, religiously; I want this name remembered.
I want all the women who will come after me to be drenched in my name.
next time you lie down next to her I want her to smell me on you.
And when I finally cut off your hair, you will still long for me. You will beg to continue to be mine.
And after they take you away, and parade you in front of the Philistines, I will be the very last thing you think of as you lean between those brass pillars. I will be the shackles on your wrists, the added weight on your shoulders, the strain in your muscles as you cast it all down.
Those eleven hundred pieces of silver will be the best money I ever spent on shoes.
In this story, I’m in a poetry lounge. I order a fish salad and a can of beer and wait for the walls to come crumbling.