(the love that I loved)
The possibility of you sustained me over lifetimes. Through every lonely, dusty summer, and the tempest of our winter nights. Season upon season of your warmth and withholding. Such famine and feastings of the heart, endured.
The famine and feast my heart endured.
(That cracked continent under my skin, owing all its hungers to you).
You. The possibility of you. And me there with my finger held high, hoping I might read the weather. Will I need to wear my boots today? Will you open the door; will I be let in? When I fall, shivering into your arms, will it ever be both of us shaking?
Or will you always be colder than I remembered.
No matter now. All of that breath, and all of the holding. Now I’m ready to let it go. I’m ready for this slowest, saddest season. As I finally replace the possibility of you. With what you say – and what you do.
(I love you. But I don’t want you anymore)
“Cause you and I both loved
What you and I spoke of
And others just read of
Others only read of the love, the love that I love.”
The economic beauty of a song lyric. The last line of a poem. The way it hits – da-DUM! – that heart thud reveal. It’s why we write a thousand lines. To get to this. To you. Sifted letters, finger trickles, and pounded keys – this constant turning over words. Just to get to this. To you.
And I …
You and I.
Not so little you and I, anymore.
A stranger said hey, what’s it about – but you looked like a shot was fired. A gun powder flash across the face. My bullet lodged. Da-DUM!
I wrote a book.
I never got now I get to thank you.
“Cause you and I both loved what you and I spoke of
and others just read of, and if you could see me now
well then I’m almost finally out of
I’m finally out of, finally …
well I’m almost finally, finally, out of words.”
(What I was writing exactly a year ago today. Finishing. And starting all over again)
There is always the first wound.
It remains where it formed; it remains as the deepest friction under the skin.
Scar tissue is never as supple as that which it replaces.
From: Maggie Valentine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 27 March 2010 00:46:00 AM AEDT
You pulsate through even the question of what to have for dinner.
You are trapped deep in my nerve, Mack. You have spread under the surface of my skin like a bruise. You are the slick sliding down my neural pathways. The snap and lock and spark that causes the lights to blow when I flick a switch.
You are the click of my land mines before they explode. The flavour I taste when my mouth is empty. You are the moment before I come, all taut and jangled nerve, more acute and curious than the consummation.
You are my own teeth on lip, the ache of my breast. You are the inexplicable detachment of mind to body, so that my head is there when I am here.
You are the memory of muscle, the quickening of my blood. You are the juice that flows through me and makes me wet when I have not even noticed the weather.
You who loses no sleep over me, who turns to another and makes your bed every morning (and the nights I cannot bear to think of).
You, who cannot know how far and completely I have fallen.
M (Your Valentine)
Sometimes, I time travel through their wounds.
I take them back to before. Before the wheels over-corrected, or the under-tow pulled too hard. I take them back to the moment before they said yes to that guy or before they turned that corner – before life began to slide away from where they’d been.
I’m piecing them back to how they were, when they were whole and untouched. Everyone has it. Every body has it. A time before. Some people get further along than others – some get to live entire lives in the before.
Others come with the smallest amount of time and grace, and fall quickly into the after.
Into the after. The new working title for my second novel. To write, I need a literary leitmotif, a melody of words and ideas to thread through the story. I’ve found it here. Now the work begins …