in (what shall forever be deemed as) the tragic fried-egg sandwich incident
i forgot that i'm no longer allowed to eat bread
in (what shall forever be deemed as) the tragic fried-egg sandwich incident
he said what do you think of my legs. and i sniff. time of year. too much white wine. and half scoff. hairy. like a monkey, really. but he makes a good pico de gallo. so, who am i to judge?
It's happening again. When I wake up in the middle of the night with a stiff neck, tongue stuck, trying to recreate the words i want to film you in quick cuts and monochrome . . . but like trying to walk the way home in a city in which I no longer live, I don't ever end up where I expect. until a thousand electric eels are dancing on your head. that's not how it goes. no. try again. El Beso the curl of my lips around the silent sounds into a dark room where the sleeping body beside me breathes them slowly in and out. Turn cool sheets to knot myself small. And wonder what I look like in your head. If I am smaller there than here. If there I am rendered into stainless steel and aluminum coils. If I am brave and toothless. Deseo inclinarme le en cortes rápidos y cabezas de mil pescados. My skin is made of ash and violets and all of the things you wish upon at night when you also wait for sleep.
i prefer chick peas to chocolate. i'm in love with coffee and salt the way some women are dedicated to children or horses or their backyard gardens. i enjoy sex more than most people i know. i've lied terrible huge lies to every single person i've ever been in love with. and it isn't always the same ones. or for the same reasons. if i could have married any straight man alive during the 20th century it would have been ed bradley. i cried for two days after he passed away. the only television channels i have memorized are the food network, the cartoon network, mtv, and BBCA. if you asked me to list two movies about lesbian serial killers, i could do it. once, in college i got to be the 'birdy in a cage' during a square dancing exhibition and actually considered it an honor. i know the difference between a 3/3 and a 4/4. and at almost any moment i can sing at least partial lyrics to any song playing on a store system. i love to watch boxing. i'm a student of literature who hates books, but likes trying to pull of the sexy librarian look. sometimes when i'm feeling overwhelmed, i become inaudible. i like to bite down onto things. hard. something that i love more than the baby jesus or lemon curd is laughing with honesty. the most confident and happiest and most me that i ever feel is when i make people laugh.
If this were any other day. And it isn't. I'd want to sink into the bath. Like drowning myself in your Sake smile. Until I forget that I am in love with your engine grease smell. Caught in the bends of my knees, afternoons, when you're away. And the only map that's been written about how to turn myself into we gets lost in the wet fading carpet foot prints. I only wish that your fingertips never tasted bitter. Until I forget what I used to be before I remembered who I am. And all these limbs like dry grasses blaze. Drive Out the Light. The Smoke. The Burnt sugar kiss rising. Into Ash. Luxuriant. Fading. Like memories of me. After the storm.
Just now I'm lying on the couch. A heavy blanket across my legs. Thinking about the empty feeling in my belly. The way the lack of things can leave me feeling smacked, sometimes. This weekend I dreamed of shopping for babies online and ginger snaps. And I wondered what I would look like in the photographs you could take of me in that grey world I miss living in. If I would be beautiful even if I were wordless.
S. Hunt wanted no witnesses. As she walks down the street, mind like a milkcrate, with a 40 ounce (that's O. Z.) bottle of malt liquor. Heel toe. Hell no. Mr. Graves used to make them walk lines that way in P.E. class, grade 8, as punishment when she refused to play Smear the Queer. Citing irreconcilable ideological issues. She wasn't going to forced into being some patsy homophobe. Or get knocked in the head one more time with that ball. Mr. Graves, who is probably wearing the exact outfit right now that he wore every day of her middle school life, didn't know what ideological meant. Heel toe. Hell no. Down the fucking block I go. It's been a long time since she's been a school girl. But she knows that Colt 45 will leave her with a better headache whenever she wakes up than some of that other shit. All she can think about when she lets herself into her apartment is just how much she doesn't want to be there. The transitory feel of the muted grey indoor-outdoor wall to wall carpeting makes her skin itch. Like a hug from someone she hates. The shades shut. Television on. The flicker reminds her of fire as she curls under the weight of the blanket her father sent her almost a decade ago. Leans forehead to palm. Cradles the bottle against her side, precious, like a baby. She'll sit up all night watching advertisements for chopping machines or pornography. Yesterday, when she woke up on the floor, she noticed some words scratched into the belly of the table. a beautiful revolution. it said. she doesn't remember if she wrote it.
my mother didn't start looking like an old woman until her mid-60s. and i could tell cute stories about my childhood--of how i used to fall asleep anywhere at any moment--the floor of the bathroom. in the middle of eating a cracker wearing only a diaper on an avocado colored chair in a picture in an album on the lowest shelf in the front room of my mother's house. i'm starting to look like her. the long dark hair. heavy librarian framed glasses. anemic. selfishly remotely emotional. caustic. personally unforgivable. furiously serious. i had a deaf photographer boyfriend, once, who tried to capture me intensity. now i only think he could have been wrong. that howl is the ghost of my mother and her mother. it's the signature of a woman who needs men like wild dogs need meat between their teeth. like a woman who wouldn't start wearing the ages of her life until she was damn well ready. maybe the answer is somewhere in those dusty pictures 1500 miles away, before my brother turned into my father. maybe i've already had all the sleep one lifetime requires, and i just didn't spend it wisely. i need my grandmother to bake more batches. we never ran out. at her house. why the hell didn't somebody wake me up, anyway? wake up. i wonder if tonight, in quick snatch glances toward sleep, i'll think about crackers. there are so many stories. like popping corn. where the fuck is the fire? i've been to england. a lot. i fell in love there with a wildly articulate and handsome mathematician. and thought i might stay. you know those email quizzes friends send between friends that are supposed to enlighten us all by answering whether or not we're a chocolate or vanilla kind of girl? [this is an aside. i never quite fit those things (ted could tell you if he asked him). i'm no audrey or katharine -- i'm loren bacall.] best kiss is always--always--in that shower with him and the skylight under the moon. we went to war, that time too. i think? and i was working on a paper about identity formation. i think back then i was still into performance. i never thought i'd reduce that memory into something so trivial as an email quiz answer. that's something i should feel shameful about. everything gets crushed down, doesn't it? i hate that. i haven't spoken to the people i most love in ages. locked myself away inside this head and tried to let it all go. but there are so many things that i don't want to collapse upon themselves. every day i lose more of her. like my mom's fight with age. at some point anything will sneak right up and bite you. catch you up so short you'd forget how to even get home. maybe the question has more to do with the sharpness of the teeth. because, the thing is, i miss writing love poetry about and to and for the green lantern. and i miss writing so much it hurt because everything hurt because i loved so much and so hard that i didn't know what else to do with myself. i have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. and a dissertation to finish. so i go into the missing. sign.
I roast acorn squash in the oven. Turn the soft buttery flesh into a hot pan of translucent onion and what looks like far too much garlic. Add vegetable stock and stir in a palm full of garam masala. Cayenne. Salt. Pepper. Paprika. Cumin. Blend on high for the smooth texture that will coat the spoon. The tongue. The scent present in the back of the throat for the rest of the night. My garlic fingertips resting on the back of your neck while we drink hot chocolate on the couch. I'll make yours out of the last pieces of imported chocolate your parents sent. And mine from the instant powdered stuff we keep in the pantry. You won't know the difference. And I'll get to drink this memory of you into every next time I touch or eat or smell chocolate. For the rest of my life. I talk on the phone to my friend Stephen who is dying of cancer and make a fresh pot of basmati rice without having to think about what I'm doing. I suck cardamom seeds, pressing one against the roof of my mouth, while I wait for him to stop coughing. The steam from the rice gets caught in my hair. And leaves me feeling colder. Thousands of tiny pearls dance. We're at the stage where we're ignoring these things. The evidence of losing some fight you didn't want to get dragged into to begin with. He doesn't let me cook him dinners anymore. It's longer than a month since I've seen him in person. When he used to let me wrap us both up in blankets after treatments, and we'd talk for hours about anything but this. Losing hair. And time. They've finally stopped trying to cut pieces of him out. We're talking about spatial theory and the new album he ordered online. I cut kale from the stems and soak the curly leaves in water. At some point I put down the phone. On a day like this one. It's already dark, and the wind howls like it knows the secrets I keep trying to get at during the night when I can't sleep. I never sleep anymore. I turn the kale into a pan with hot oil. Brown sugar. Red pepper flake. Stir. It's quick. In and out in a few minutes. We eat the squash and kale over rice with our fingers. The way Sakash taught me when we were in love that one summer in England. I don't tell you about the call from Stephen or how I've been feeling really lonely lately. It's finally turned winter. And our fingers are yellow stained and sticky. We talk about getting a real tree this year. The new album I ordered online. My niece's birthday party. Our tongues warm in our mouths when we sit on the couch together later. Sipping hot chocolate. Wrapped up in blankets.