Cold weather and red wine
The smell of history
Crushed grapes under bare feet
Stained lips laced with cigarettes
Unrequited and elusive and rightfully so
Giving in and letting go
The intangible shared
Feel free to be free
An affair of both the heart and drink
I take a deep breath and remember
Allowing memory to just be
Two little legs on shaky feet
Dark, bright eyes understanding too early
A mouth that tries to form words like “mommy” and “miss” and “need”
Tiny hands grasping at absence
This is heartbreak
…a person’s destiny is something you look back at after it’s past, not something you see in advance.
—The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
The great true things are unsurprising.
—Sleeping Beauty, 2011 film
A woman is usually aware, on some level, that men do not allow her to be her real self, and worse, that the acceptable masks represent mens fantasies, not her own. She can choose the most interesting image available, present it dramatically, individualize it with some elaborations, under cut it with irony. But ultimately she must serve some male fantasy to be loved and then it will be only the fantasy that is loved anyway.
His mother did not pass the “best” to him
her first born
instead she withheld those particular phenotypes
and let her partner’s take the lead
So to him, her first born
the blue eyes and blonde hair
she held for 22 years
she held longer for
than when the sperm met her egg
and what a beauty he is for it
I doubt his deliberately hidden archives
could swim with so much change and mystery
if his eyes were
the redundant, coveted blue
I’m alone but not really alone, not physically alone. But I am alone, or more so on a break from overwhelmed. This alone is relaxing only when it is coming to a close. For it is just a short period of time for me to settle into this aloneness, or more aptly, apartness, that once I start remembering the benefits of before, I am due back to return. This aloneness is not like before as then I could relax any which way on this canary leather couch, made for a solitary individual like myself to stare out of the picture windows, while reading a borrowed book from the bookstore. This aloneness entitles me to silence and solitude but with a backache and bulging belly punctuated by little kicks that I have often been forced to neglect.
Still I have learned enough this past year to indulge in this aloneness with the tenderness I savor a rare meal eaten slowly while still warm.
The air is warm enough that I am able to sit on my winter-mildewed balcony, the tiles under my bare feet hot, the northern wind absent. I am without child and husband, wearing yesterday’s loose pants and cardigan. It’s Saturday and the rains of the last days have plumped up the leaves on our birch tree. I almost cannot see the hospital, where I was just released from last week, the spring trees overtaking the view. I no longer know what it feels to wake up clear. Somehow the self-inflicted pain from hangovers in my twenties where far better then getting sick by foreign pathogens in my thirties. Seems like
pain was more manageable from my own hand.
I have four months until I’m without sleep once again, my body lactating, my food and life regulated by cries. I had an illusion of sailing into this summer, my first toddling his way ahead of me as I regaled once again at the beauty of the human body, rounding and changing to accept a new life.
For now I do as my mother in law says: trinken und abwarten.
Waiting it seems for a health that is slow in returning.