Daughter - Youth
My eyes are damp from the words you left
ringing in my head
when you broke my chest.
Whenever I’m anxiety-ridden, I talk.
I exist to talk.
And I don’t stop.
If I stop, my heart stops, I’ve taught myself.
So I don’t stop.
My mouth spews more words than my heart beats.
Bleak, short, stiff words, served as non sequiturs to roomy, airy harangues irregularly, fast and irregularly, mimicking the sorry excuses that are the systole and diastole of my chest.
I don’t feel the palpitations anymore.
I also don’t know what I’m saying.
What people notice about me.¹
¹Someone wrote these (likely exaggerated) thoughts after spending some time with me:
"Docile and subservient child. A kaleidoscopic mind. Subtle genius. His absence of true and cathartic self-expression builds like a proverbial dam with every passing day. The expanse of silences that emanate from him are merely disguises² for the billions of insanely perfect brainstorms that swell into catastrophic proportions. Synapses in overdrive veiled with a lulling quiet that is his overt personality. Underestimated. It is always the quiet ones that make the most impact."
I’m flattered. ²I personally think it’s my beard and glasses.
Hours with Andrea¹
¹I sat at the coffee shop for five hours with Andrea. My bristol board was blank² for the first four and a half.
²I’m deathly nervous in front of a blank sheet of paper.
David and July¹
¹The window moves random colored lights across July’s face. They reflect off her dress. They reflect off her silent tears. The rear view mirror tells David. “Are you okay?” She nods, then her hands reach down into her purse. “Does the radio bother you?” “No,” she says, “and you don’t have to make conversation.” She pulls out a cigarette and paints it red between her lips. David pulls a lighter from his shirt pocket and holds it up for her; his hand trembles as she lights her cigarette. “Just killing nights of imperfection.”²
²July looks up, as if³ staring at that sentence.
³And David looks up at July thinking ‘August can wait.’
¹All of you there, sleeping, ethereal in your stillness. Your lips ajar, with a subtle buzzing upon breathing; your face with no gestures; your chest with no pretexts; your covered up feet; your drawn-on arms; your painted lower back; your navel. The universe of you. Just sleep, and I will be the sentry of your dreams. Just sleep, because I haven’t told myself that I’m not dreaming. Just sleep, and this, like most things, will dissipate. Like the mist you leave behind when you run through bubbles with open arms.² Tomorrow upon waking I won’t say the things I want to say.
²The more you pursue them, the faster they disappear.
¹I met her a day in November. Since then, she rises and falls with the tide, and flaunts her gravity² every time I fall. I open my mouth to write, yet my notebook is as empty as the girl, not of content, but of substance. Like November, the scratches on her come and go with the tide, and flaunt their brevity every time she falls. What a terrible mistake, to let go of something only because I like it more than I want to.
²The galaxies separate from one another. Why shouldn’t we.
I just wrote and posted. I also promised myself I’d keep it up daily, but I haven’t written since.
I kiss all the girls just to forget one. It’s been nine months since I said here that I wanted to publish something without going over it first. I wanted to use this as a journal. But I’m as ingenuous at writing as I am at talking to girls. Not that they’d know the difference. I seem to fake it well. That, or I just referred to all of them as girls instead of women to not use the word ingénues. All of them except one. I like this and I don’t like this. I’m not really myself with any of them, and I’m least myself with her. I hate this and I don’t hate this.
¹Your writing is best when it’s not about her. That night you made a bonfire in her car, you kissed her unlike you’ve been wanting to forever. You could taste the Schrödinger under her tongue. I think she kept you there. You opened your eyes just in time to catch hers closing. I remember the many times you hid from her behind your beard. Your craven refusal to speak up. Picking pieces of lint off her shirt like picking off caveats. Both of you laughing, at her jokes only, in a Penrose-sided rendezvous. Laughter with overlapping tangents of nothing that go on too long. You may think you don’t understand it, but you do, when she disappears for a week’s stay with her soft skin sheets and her dinosaurs and her tiaras. When she shuffles past and the world goes away, the touch is nowhere near as rough as your skin remembers. There are still scars on you. None of them at all by any sort of accident. She needs you there as little and as much as she shows. She tells you every day in all the ways she knows how. You walked away. The night of the bonfire, you kissed her, and then you walked away. God, I need scotch. And her lips.