Women like me

Well-behaved women seldom make history – but they make for lovely girlfriends and wives, wouldn’t you say? Forgive me. There’s something bitter on my tongue today – in my fingers too. The burnt taste and feel of men like you. Wanting a piece of women like me (but never the whole) …

So many times I’ve apologised (even now!) for resisting the border of how much I should be. So many times I’ve nearly believed your limitations. It can drive a person crazy, you know. Being wanted in parts like that. Reflecting another’s need to see in the dark. Never once being seen (loved) as you are.

A reminder: I am light, bright, blinding. We all are, women like me. So keep your shadows, and the length of your arms. You have nothing more to offer a woman like me. Drunk, sober (mostly somewhere in between), I am now solely concerned with what I see.

Aphrodite at body, remember

Beautiful stories

I used to try so hard to find the right words to reach you, Mack. Always searching out the perfect metaphor. So many love letters typed out, all of the things I couldn’t say directly. My mouth used to fill up with everything unspoken, sometimes there were so many words crowding my tongue that the only way not to choke was to spit them out, to siphon them through my fingers, and down through the computer keys toward you.

What did you do with all of those midnight emails I sent you? Did you print them out, did you return to them when you came close to forgetting? Did you ever slide my confessions between the pages of your favourite book, keeping my words with other words, too? Did you ever do that, Mack – to keep me close to you?

M, your Valentine.

My sign-off, always. When I wrote out all of the things I couldn’t say. When I tried to resurrect streets and temples for you. Trying so hard to make it all rise up around you after you went back to that other world. Words as breadcrumbs, leading you back to the bars and parks, and hotel rooms that were our altars. Those places of worship and exaltation, covered in cigarette burns and red velvet, and so much better in the dark.

The myth of us, Mack. I laid it out for you as if it were historical fact.

You said once – You write beautiful stories, Maggie.

History is written by the victors, I replied, too softly for you to hear.

~ Maggie Valentine , Loved

AnaisWords

… and then comes the hangover …

Something permanent and waiting

I’ve never been one for belief. Preferring, since I first found words, the question. But you suggest an answer now. Something permanent and waiting. As if there might be gods and fates whispering, a place and time of return.

I would know you anywhereIn a room filled, or across vast, empty spaces. Even when I’m not looking for- … I somehow seek to find you.

Perhaps. Perhaps. We are indeed part of something greater. An entire universe found in our kiss hello. Sliding lips remembering. The familiar that comes from knowing.

(Perhaps I’ve lost my goddamn mind.)

Kafka

Of sticks and stones

The other woman, too many birthdays, opportunities closing one after the other around me. I have to admit that none of these would have been enough to keep me away. The desire to be good would not have won out – I would have come back to that twice next month. Eventually. In the end, we were always going to survive a metaphor.

It was only ever going to be reality. In the end.

The last time I ever saw you – turns out, I lied to us both. This is what I have learned since then, what I now know better: the body has been much maligned by the idea that words are more honest than a beating heart. My body always knew better.  Every confession it ever made, those trembling revelations in your arms – that was the most honest I’ve ever been.

Ignore my words, Mack. I was afraid of sticks and stones back then. But I once wrote the truth across your skin, and I need to believe you can feel it now. I need to believe that even when we re-write the story, our bodies remember. That leap of faith made when hands reach across the widest of chasms.

And how sometimes, Mack, we nearly make it.

We can dress up in someone else’s clothes, we can recite lines fashioned from other mouths, and decorate our promises with beads and silk, but these offerings only last until the candles burn down. Love is what the body remembers.

Love.

(Oh, how I loved you)

2017

Now the words are memories too. Embellished, redacted, turned about. Which is more real? Knowing what to say, or how to say it? Was the story better then, or now? All I know is it never really ends … #Loved

When I wanted to stay

I’ve been here. Shoulders squared, bag slung. Do you know how many times I’ve walked away.

Often, when I wanted to stay.

I left you, once. When I wanted to stay. I’ll leave anyone or anything, don’t you know? It won’t ever be that I love you more. Than Sunday mornings and 4pms. Than sinking in and settling down.

The familiar can only go so far.

After leaving so much more than you. I can always, always walk away.

Leaving

 

 

 

This is how you will lose him

You know, don’t you. Have always known. That it won’t be happiness that ends it. You learnt this many years ago. When, in some other loss, some other love, you discovered there’s no seducing sadness.

This is how you will lose him.

A small or sudden sorrow that separates. No crawling on your belly back. The distance, suddenly, too far.

Ruins to most people. But really, ruins are just evidence, aren’t they? That’s what you asked him once. Thinking about bridges, and wild weather, and washing away. But storms are easy. You see that now. You could swim across that suffering.

But this. This quiet, calm. The questioning. The way you can’t be his answer now. This is how you will lose him.

Image by Joanne Piechota

You have been loved

I imagine it’s something like lights turning on all over the world. One by one the illumination, as continents glimmer then glow. I see it as gravity pulling the stars back down. Collective sadness, collecting love. The bright flame of grief making our shared surface deeper.

Know this. You have been loved.

It’s not dimming, ever. To remember, to honour, to love in this way. We should do so well with the living. We should send out our sparks and turn up our songs while we’re both on the ground. Don’t you think?

You should know you have been loved.

lighthousekeeping

♥ Jeanette Winterson, Lighthousekeeping

I expect so much more from you in 2017.