“A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.”
-Edward De Bono
When a boy tells you he loves you
it’ll be the first time you hear this.
It is late and he isn’t even here to tell you this in person but instead
from a car ride home from a bar in Chicago, he is there on business.
And of course you will smile because he sounds like he means it.
Because you believe him, because a boy has never handed those words to you like
crushed blackberries in the palms of his hands, firm, young, full
waiting to taste sweet with you.
His arms, creeping vines begging to touch the sun and your face saying,
“Here, take everything I have ever touched to be closer to you.”
His breath, waiting to be folded into a love note passing in between
the nape of your neck and his front teeth.
He will remember the time you told him you felt safe in his mouth
and he will never grow hungry…just distant.
When a boy tells you he loves you, you will hear music,
the voice of your past lovers dancing up your throat,
Your stomach in after-hours cabaret still waiting on the last call.
That was when you learned that when a boy says I love you
he means I am getting ready to be inconsistent with you now.
This boy will tell you that he loves you,
not long after he had you waiting for two hours in front of a cocktail lounge
Patience is something you were working on but no…not for him.
When he asks for you to tell him that you love him back
you will be in the car, in the parking lot of a late night diner.
You will watch the words fall into your lap like a spilled glass of white wine.
You will remember the day your courier pigeon heart got lost in the wind
because that was a message it did not know how or where to carry.
And one by one the boys have fallen as silently as the birds do.
So eloquently they used to speak until I ask the questions that broke them into ghosts,
that bled me into a corpse with so many questions of my own for the soil.
But their tongues do not know simple. The things I should be hearing,
the things that will make us living men in this time of insatiable yet dying lovers.
When a boy tells you he loves you only to become silent
like a folded sheet of tissue paper,
not wanting you to decrease him into the truth,
do not crack your face into the fullest crescent moon
at the tapered bottom of a blackened sky.
He never meant a single word of any of it.
He is just a boy remember?
He is just another silly sad boy,
“What is it about a hand that seems quintessentially human? The answer must, at some level, be that the hand is a visible connection between us; it is a signature for who we are and what we can attain. Our ability to grasp, to build, and to make our thoughts real lies inside this complex of bones, nerves, and vessels.”
I was ravaging my closet one night, stressed, looking for what I was going to wear the next day. My sister laughed at how I must’ve looked. “Tomorrow you’ll figure out what to wear. You know that one bible verse.. about not worrying about what to wear..?” She had this bible verse in mind:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
True enough, we always seem to figure it out, don’t we? It seems like the older we get, the more worries added to our plates. But worrying can many times just be futile. It is better to live day to day, in the present, with goals in mind rather than worries. I used to feel as though I was carrying a heavy weight made up of worries and fears about the future. I’m learning more and more to put my whole trust in God. I will try my best, God, please guide me.
leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses.
you make him call before
he visits. you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.
I need to go to Michaels!
It’s been a while since I made art.
“Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God.”
St. Ignatius of Loyola