Recidivist (revisited)

it would just be

 hey…

how are you?

and maybe

I still think of you

(from time to time)

something

like that

just

hey …

tapped out

by fingers that know

the pillow-soft

of you

and I

(you and I)

forgetting

in this (b)reach

just

how far

(we have to fall)

Image by Joanne Piechota

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We’re still here

I don’t know if there are other lives.

I don’t know if you and I exist in any other place and time – if the world is ours, or if we can only go so far in this together.

I don’t know if we exist outside of place and time. If the other you and other me are just ahead, and watching. Turning back – or catching up – or only ever passing, while our fleeting touch reminds.

(That it is still you and me. The better us. The only us.)

I don’t know if there are other lives.

But when I close my eyes, we’re still here. And this is just our waiting.

Beautiful Mess

 

Till we drowned

You would keep your landscape pristine forever.

But I have broken you apart a thousand times all the same. Crashed against you, cracked through your surface and swum in your veins till we drowned. I have been your natural disaster, your flood and tempest, the violent wind that scattered your bones. I have held you under and pulled you back up, submersed you for a different salvation.

I have conquered your landscape. And surrendered you mine.

Have you ever noticed how the sun splinters itself on water, my love? Not everything has a desire to be whole …

(the love that I loved)

Not a single thing

It is not so remarkable. To be two in seven billion. To find each other in the throng. It is not so remarkable to navigate the wide oceans and narrow fences between us, to swim and scramble, and to arrive at each other at last.

It’s not so remarkable to shake loose from our skins, to shed the layers of other lives – to lay naked and begun in borrowed arms. There is nothing to revere in the slow unwind, in the pulse and rise of you and I. In the honesty of opened palms, and the delicate invitation. These consummations of an extra-ordinary kind.

There is nothing special in this, my love. To fall so hard that you prefer the ground. How it sinks you in and you’re finally found. How all around us people are buried alive, and here we are – gasping for air.

(There is not a single thing worth holding there).

Not a thing at all, I have to say. If you close your eyes and take your time. If you think on what we had, and made … if you think about just what we were given. I feel certain that now we would have to agree. It is not so remarkable at all.

#

“And others just read of
Others only read of the love, the love that I love.” ~ Jason Mraz
Jacqueline Rock Bublitz by Joanne Piechota at body, remember

Eidyia by Joanne Piechota

Gracious

… This name that was mine from the beginning.

In every beginning an ending is written.

It is one of the very first things I told you. When I would lie naked in your arms, spinning my stories. The mind of a poet, and the body of a goddess, you once said against my chest – and I wrapped this description like a gift. It was rare for you to be so gracious with your definitions, Mack.

Mack.

I did not know that it would end like this.

Mack and Mabel lyrics by Jerry Herman

(It was so easy to name you. I knew him. And then I met you. The recognition was instant.

And you never, ever did send me roses. Just like I forgot to keep my head.)

The rest of our lives

Talk though we did, my love, there were certain conversations we never had.

On that first trip to White Cliff, we had not yet said I love you. I was hyper-conscious of it, both its absence, and the desire to say it, and those three little words were pressurised inside me on that drive. A funny little vision, the idea that saying I love you is like popping the cork on champagne. Seeing the words rise to the surface like little bubbles, the way they might spill over when finally released. It makes me smile to think of how tightly coiled I was before that first I love you. I knew it had to come from you, that you had to be the one to say it. But you were taking your time, and I was in a kind of agony for fear of what that might mean. I knew that your father proposed to your mother after just one week of dating, and that Joe was engaged to Jane after only 8 weeks. The men in your family had proven themselves swift with their choices. Meanwhile, I was swallowing those most hopeful of words, whilst we talked of almost everything else.

It happened at White Cliff, where that sense of beginning resolved itself into the rest of our lives. We were making love, if I close my eyes I can see this night, see our bed against the window, the gauzy curtain floating toward us in a kind of moonlit dance. Such poetry prescribed to these memories – turns out I have this talent too, Ben.

I was watching the curtain, and you above me, your beautiful, serious face in shadow, your touch just as light on my skin. I need you to know something, you said as you moved inside me, and I closed my eyes, squeezed them tight, listening to your breath, and the advance-retreat of the waves outside. My eyes were still shut when you said – I love you, Anna, and I kept them closed to hold on to the moment, to take in your body and your words. Cells and words absorbed, dissolving into each other.

And I cried Ben. I cried that first time you said I love you, lying there with my eyes squeezed shut. That’s why it took so long to say it back, that was the pause you must have felt, the silence that led you to roll off me, and turn away.

I returned the words against your back, remember?

I love you too, Ben.

I’m in that same bed tonight. Eyes still closed, searching out the memory, embellishing it with ideas of moonlight and dancing curtains. Perhaps all I really remember is the way you said I love you, and how it took so long for me to respond. From then on, it turns out we were only ever going to be able to make light of such declarations. Removing the I from the sentence, learning to hand out love you breezily, this compressed version that would become far easier to say to each other, and to receive.

We moved from declaration to assertion so quickly.

But that first I love you was magic, Ben. I just never told you, never had the language to tell you about champagne fizzing, about phosphorus under my skin. What else did we forget to say across the years?

#

~ Anna, The Memory of Stars

The Memory of Stars by Jacqueline Bublitz

The midnight hours

I am nearly asleep but I don’t hang up. Not tonight. Not this close to somewhere infinitely more peaceful than where we live in the daylight. It’s nice to be in this drifting together.

Joe.

My voice is breathy, sleepy. I’m still here. I don’t say it. Just think it. Say it. Think it. Who knows the difference right now as the stars pulse and disappear outside my opened window.

Lucy.

He says my name like a whisper. A song. I laugh suddenly, an echo down the phone that reverberates, shakes my body awake.

You should go, I say. It’s late. We should be sleeping.

Somewhere in the world it’s morning, Joe counters. It’s morning here too, in fact. If you think about it.

And I know we’re both checking our clocks as he says this. 2am. Passing through the midnight hours together. Roaming toward dawn like ghosts. It’s easier when we see the night through like this. Wide-awake when everybody else is dreaming. I’m thinking this, thinking riddles and half-worn philosophies as I slide between these hours of light and dark with Joe pressed up against my ear, yet so very far away.

You should go, I repeat. It’s late. Hang up

There is silence, and then a question. Softly.

Are you in bed?

Yes, my hand searches for the cool of my pillow. Aren’t you?

 No. Joe sounds weary now, sorry for himself. I’m at my desk. Sitting here in my suit. I haven’t even gone upstairs to change.

Poor Joe.

I’m teasing him. But I feel it. A sudden twitch of nerves at the thought of him sitting there in his white shirt, sleeves rolled, pants still buckled. I can see how the phone would be hooked awkwardly against his ear, see how his neck would arch toward the receiver. A sand-plane of skin I had not considered. Now, with my eyes closed, this is all I can see.

You should get rid of the suit, Joe. Get comfortable.

I mean it to sound a joke, but it’s that breathy, sleepy voice again. Making it sound like something more. Accidentally. I’ll always think – after – that it was accidental. The pause, and then the way he says – Tell me what you are wearing?

And suddenly it isn’t light anymore, this air between us.

I’m – my feet push up against clinging sheets. I’m … not wearing anything.

A crack down the phone. Electricity. I can hear the shift, even in the silence that follows.

And then this.

Lucy. Tell me what you see.

I … I stumble against the words. How are we here? Here we are. Seeing the line, only as we step to cross it.

Tell me what you see.

And I’m looking at my body now, kicking off the sheets. Wanting to do this. Suddenly. Wanting to wake up after years of sleeping.

Lucy?

I’m here, Joe. I’m … tell me what you want to know?

Photo by Joanne Piechota

to be continued …