Here is my hand, my heart, my throat, my wrist. 🕯
If only for a moment, if only for tonight,
Margaret what I really want to ask is, how many
minutes do I need to wring from my hair in order
for you to love me? How much substance is too
much for you to grasp? Again, under the shower head,
I am waiting to hear you call my name. As the night
thins, again and again, into the eclipse of a knife
in hand, there is only stillness, limned in the hallway
as if in a caricature of the dust on the walls.
In cartoons, the smallest animals are the ones
that we call soft. From opposite sides of the coast
we break the moon into halves, suck light from
our fingers until only our cuticles are left behind.
Choosing violence. Like a name, and a place
and the shadow of your mother’s face as she
turns to look at the bathroom mirror. This,
too, as if there is anything left to pick out of
the scattered pieces. She cradles velvet mouthfuls
of the evening, fleeing the doorjamb of your father’s
footsteps. Like her body is a memory, spilling over
in all the same places, at all the same times. As if
spitting up is the same thing as spitting out. As if
distance is anything other than safety. From upstairs,
you watch her clear the dining table, watch her shuck
the chairs of their melancholy. Her eyelids
tremble, as if with indecision. As if either of you
have ever had a choice to make but this.
Do Not Disturb. The sky ripples, drawing ley lines
of every flat surface. Of the lake and the sink
and the person who looks back from the window pane.
And really, what does it mean to know more than
you should? What does it mean to reach for quiet
and have quiet reach back? On this playing field,
every dirt clod is another insolvency, bleeding grass
stains up to our wrists. Below us, the river surges,
so calm we have never known the depth of its
feeling. We are so thoughtless, so silent,
so clam-shelled of the movement we once called
home. Again, I lift one hand and ask you to reel
me in. Again, I am something other than heartless.
If only we could speak, to each other, and the water.