she’s young, she said,
but look at me,
I have pretty ankles,
and look at my wrists, I have pretty
o my god,
I thought it was all working,
and now it’s her again,
every time she phones you go crazy,
you told me it was over
you told me it was finished,
listen, I’ve lived long enough to become a
why do you need a bad woman?
you need to be tortured, don’t you?
you think life is rotten if somebody treats you
rotten it all fits,
tell me, is that it? do you want to be treated like a
piece of shit?
and my son, my son was going to meet you.
I told my son
and I dropped all my lovers.
I stood up in a cafe and screamed
I’M IN LOVE,
and now you’ve made a fool of me…
I’m sorry, I said, I’m really sorry.
hold me, she said, will you please hold me?
I’ve never been in one of these things before, I said,
she got up and lit a cigarette, she was trembling all
over.she paced up and down,wild and crazy.she had
a small body.her arms were thin,very thin and when
she screamed and started beating me I held her
wrists and then I got it through the eyes:hatred,
centuries deep and true.I was wrong and graceless and
sick.all the things I had learned had been wasted.
there was no creature living as foul as I
and all my poems were
— Charles Bukowski
you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
I am the owner of a brain that isn’t particularly fond of the skull to which it belongs— particularly when I find myself jailed in a self-inflicted, sleep-deprived state and it is 1 AM and there is nothing aside from 3/4 of an apple tugging at my stomach. I am thinking of my great great great great grandparents: where they were from, what they did, how they looked. It is baffling to me that we stumble through life in complete oblivion to the people, decades before us, who were catalysts to our births— our entire existence. My parents have never met their grandparents’ grandparents. I would not have existed today, in the form in which I exist— my eyes large and dark brown and my nose so tiny that it barely exists and the peculiar dimples marking their territory on the lowest point of my chin whenever I smile, had it not been for a man and a woman whose faces I cannot assign a shade or shape to— whose names have never touched my tongue in that familiar way in which I refer to distant acquaintances and that one rude cashier in the corner bodega. I know more about Justin Bieber than I will ever know about them.
My favorite shirt of yours was the type of red that spills out of skin. I thoroughly enjoyed your obsession with the word “synchronicity” and found an underlying, tragedy covered humor in how off-sync we were. I liked watching the freckles on your nose quiver like a city amidst an earthquake five seconds before you exploded into tears. You had a strong aversion to profane language, but the words you chose to feed me were like rotten hand-picked blueberries in a basket that was glacially beginning to lose its grandmotherly charm. You sat uncomfortably close to the edges of rooftops because you wanted to demonstrate to an audience the extent of your fearlessness. Emotions that did not belong to you terrified you. The absence of eyes ogling your direction terrified you— but when present, you were quick to pretend as though it was profoundly irritating. You ignored your mother’s phone calls. She left voicemails repeating that she loved you. I only met her in Facebook photographs and looking into her droopy eyes filled my ribcage with an urge to hold her until her eyes didn’t look as though they were lifting so much weight. I remember, in the beginning, feeling enough love for you in my guts that I roamed pavements in a constant state of gnawing nausea. I wanted to thank your mother for her womb which brought me to you, but then I realized most people would find such a gesture to be peculiar. People no longer write love letters with their hands or wait for each other on doorsteps for hours under heavy rainfall or scream I LOVE YOU from great heights. We keep it cool, train the insides for our bodies to resemble the Atlantic Ocean in mid-January so that nobody will step inside. I was never able to be this way despite my strongest efforts. My skin is inverted, laid inside out, covering my bones like a blanket with a thousands holes in it. If you touch me, it will linger for days like a violent slap against the face that burns for days afterwards.
I realized just now that this letter has ceased to be about you— but has it ever been?