Artwork by @many_bothans
Word over word. One little truth at a time. Pulling myself up that rope, away from the muck down here.
I am saving myself. And I am reaching back to save you, too …
“You live out the confusions until they become clear.” ~ Anais Nin
It isn’t that I hate you. Sometimes I say it because I still want your name in my mouth. Because I used to say your name every day and I miss the sound it makes through tongue and teeth. I miss the ownership, implicit – the way it placed you at my centre. Your name back then was my punctuation, the meaning made, my intonation. It was everything I said and all I left out. Every ellipses led back to you.
Of course it isn’t that I hate you. Though you may hear it said from time to time. It’s just that, still, your name reminds. Do you know that hotel? someone asked just today, and I thought at once of tangled sheets, of my heart on your chest, of counting down. Of the inevitable demise of counterfeit hours – with you and I sequestered there. You and I holding on. This may be a dream was heard in that hotel (tomorrow was made for some.)
But I can’t say Yes! I know! And how! So your name becomes my opposition. I spin some kind of head-on collision (well, it speaks of impact just the same). I’m pushed against you, and against you now. With nothing ever given away. And nothing ever, ever forgotten. It seems when you can no longer tell the truth, all you have is a story.
(And I wasn’t writing about you all this time. I was writing to you. So don’t believe a thing I say, okay? Just the way I say it …)
Image by Joanne Piechota
You call it a dalliance. You think I will like the word. The way you have to curl your tongue against your teeth to make the sound, the way you can slide right off the ending. You think this word will please me, that its poetry will distract me from the question I have asked you.
But it creates the smallest of fissures in my heart, this word. This pretty, empty word and what it really means:
I have asked you if you understand that this is an affair, and in your answer you have accidently and honestly defined our relationship. This is recreation, this is the sport you play on Thursday nights. I am a diversion from the terrible importance of your everyday life and you are content with this definition.
I have been too light across your skin to leave the impression I desire. You think only of how this breaks you out of your life. You never consider that in finding you, I might finally break in to my own.