the seeds, the trees

"But once in a while there's a great dynamite-burst of flying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall and somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by the throat and gently says, 'I will not let you go until you set me, in words, on paper.'" – Richard Bach

Tag: love

All of my lives

Today I have lived 900 lives. Thousands and thousands of days since the sun came up.

This morning, I awoke in the middle of a dream, full of regret. I had cut out my eyes. Everything the colors of bruises.

Tonight, I end my 900th life with a thought of you. A thought that I might never forget you. A thought that you might forget me.

I hope to see you when I fall asleep.

When we meet, you will give back everything I gave you, kiss my bloody eyelids and tell me you will always love me first.

When I awake tomorrow, I will be whole, ready to hurt for another lifetime, again and again and again.

 

Because

I never want to feel like I’ve lost something again, so now I don’t keep anything. You want me to ask you to stay, to ask if I can keep you, but can’t you tell? I’ve already let you go.broken home

The afternoon I stop loving you

I don’t feel as much as I thought I would in all the places my heart is.

I wake with a headache. The 50-dollar nut. We lay and laugh at each other. Your friend sends you a picture of her face. I feel vaguely jealous. I shower. You dump a handful of cold water on my head while you stand by the sink. Fuck, what the fuck, I wasn’t even gonna get my hair wet. What the fuck, I say. You scoff at me, blowing air from your nose and mouth, look at me like I’m the lamest, saddest thing, tell me to grow the fuck up.

I dress, come downstairs. You’re sitting in the green armchair rolling a joint, your roommate on the couch next to you, texting. I make you coffee to go. I let your dog out. Sit on the arm of the couch, check my phone charging out of the wall, time 10:03.

You’re late. You better hurry, I say. You call me a bastard. Shut the fuck up, you fucking bastard. God, you’re a bastard. You think I don’t know that? Seriously, shut, the, fuck, up. Fucking bastard.

Your roommate laughs. I feel very small and ashamed and as soon as you’re done, the tears come, but I don’t let them go, like I’m 10 years old and my dad is letting me know exactly how stupid I am.

Then something fades. Quickly, like clouds dissipating. Like everything between us is weather, a season passed.

I haven’t told you I’ve stopped loving you. You’re on your way to New York for some bachelor party and although I do not love you anymore, I do not hate you. I do not dislike you, at all. So I will wait until you get back, after you have a good time inside the dark and glittering bars.

I imagine you taking it well. I imagine you agreeing with me when I say, We cannot dwell on what is not. You’ll say something stupid like, Go kick some dick without me. It will be then that I’ll want to touch you, that I’ll feel like the stupidest thing in the world.

Things

I am better than them and not good enough for you

I have made boys love me

taken their insides out, put them back in wrong again and again.

I will not eat food in packages or with more than five ingredients

but I inhale cigarettes like air.

I practice yoga and

the light in me recognizes and honors the light in you when I fall down drunk.

My mother cut the veins along her arms

destroying them like enemies

while her blood still runs through them

I miss her when she’s around.

I took the bus for two hours alone in a state thousands of miles away

to get rid of another baby

and to stand

holding the hands of a man with a tiny Bible

who promised me because of Jesus everything would be OK.

I smoked meth and ate molly and dropped acid until

all the trees grew diamonds

and still I could not find beauty.

I am all of these things.

They multiply on the surface of my skin

and wait for me with mouths open

but they cannot have me yet.

I Still

I still call you. Some think so I can still hold power over you. I don’t think so. I still love you, is all. But this love is different now. I must love you with no pretense of acting on it or the consequences of not. You are an idea I love. You are this story. I text you, “Will you marry her?” And you’re answer is always, “No.” But whenever I call, you’re mashing her potatoes and cooking her steak. I picture you standing in your beige kitchen with the bottle of Jack by the sink and the fan on while you smoke. I see her tiny leopard print sandals with the fake diamonds on the straps, so tiny, on the sad beige carpet. I remember folding her PINK sweatpants while I did your laundry in your apartment the day after I came to have lunch with you and stayed the whole week while she was in rehab. You cried when I left. You begged me to stay. I wanted to, to stay with you in that ugly beige apartment, locked away from everything that could make anything harder.

“If I moved there would you be with me?” “Only one way to find out.” When my own love saw that, he said he thought his head was going to explode. All I could say was I’m sorry because I didn’t want to hurt him. But I couldn’t say I was sorry I had said the words at all. I couldn’t pretend that they were never there. It used to work.

I love you. I still love you. Why doesn’t that mean anything anymore? Why doesn’t that bring me to my feet, to your door, to you, why doesn’t that bring you to me? Why does it just live there? Existing on its own, like a piece of bridge floating in the water. Utterly useless. It could go on forever. We could go on forever. Maybe that is why I let myself keep loving you. To preserve us, untouched and perfect in this story. So that when I die I can tell myself I have known perfect love. I am a fucking selfish fool, but you have always known that and loved me still.

And you’re still here after everything you tried

My mom has the best smell on earth.

I don’t know how she makes it. It’s sweet like flowers and clean like air blown straight from the ocean. It smells like mornings waking up with blankets and pillows up to your ears and looking out the window and staying in bed a bit longer. It’s deep, too, like each layer of her skin possesses some special element and they come together just right.

It’s the sort of smell that makes you want to breathe in forever, believe me, it’s that good.

She also has the loudest stomach.

I would lay the side of my head on her lap and close my eyes when we were on a plane or in the car and listen to that stomach gurgle and pop like the strangest lullaby.

My mom told me to be selfish. She said no one would ever care about me as much as I did. And she told me I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do. And she loved me twice. Did you know someone could do that?

She always made it OK to cry.

Oh, and my mom has a great smile – one that crinkles shut the soft, paper skin around her eyes and shows all of her front teeth, the fake ones with the blue gums that she hates.

I love my mom. She is the only mom I will ever have in this lonely world.

Dad

Something is lost every time you don’t say, “I love you”

and say, “Thanks for calling” instead.

More than losing you,

I am afraid of not hurting as much as I’m supposed to when you’re dead.

I drink to this animal because I don’t want to think.

Please don’t ever love someone so much her skin burns when you breathe.

Eyelash wish

You rolled a cigarette for me,

I thought of the time we danced in the rain with the homeless people on the street outside his house,

the tobacco pulled through and a strand lay on my tongue like an eyelash,

I wished that what I felt for you was love and that it would be enough.

Once upon a time

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl more than anyone could love anything, but she didn’t know what love was. She didn’t understand when he said, “Anything,” and cut off his hair because she was cold. Then one day, the boy grew sad. He knew she could not love him the way he loved her. She told him that she loved him, but her words were so light they floated away as soon as she spoke them, like dandelion dust, as if they had never been said.

He is happy, and she is sad. He is easy, and she is hard. He will always have enough. She will always think about dying, even when life is finally and sweetly good.

He only loved her more, until one day the girl said goodbye. Maybe it wasn’t her. Maybe it was the Someone Else inside of her who wasn’t afraid to be alone on the loneliest planet in the universe.

Now the girl cries when she can because she knows she will never have another boy to love her like he did. She is scared to sleep at night. She sleeps with the lights on, but the shadows come in anyway and make horrible shapes on the walls, and she is afraid to see the owl, which is really not an owl at all.

Sometimes she reaches out her arms to touch him. But he isn’t there. He could be warm in another’s or content with his own. She doesn’t know, because they do not know things like that about each other anymore.

The saddest thing of all.

She is afraid that one day he will wake up and forget her name. One day she will see him, and he will not care. She is afraid of the hours, days, months and years that she will miss him, like a hand misses a hand. She is afraid that she needs him, like people need their gods, like her father needs the sea.

Without him, she will forget to breathe.