she watches me from afar
yet i see her online trail left behind
she reads my words
but refuses to hear my voice
i’ve been so eclipsed of her presence
that i could not tell her from a stranger
she once held me in the folds of her belly
i fed off the recesses of her breakfasts
maybe she thought i was another boy
to add to her already existing two
the excitement of her growing belly
already a routine
i wonder if she held her breath
to feel my kicks
as i wait for mine
did we detach
as soon as i learned to breath air
other than the one she provided?
i’ve let it go
let her eavesdrop into a life
that she hopes to be apart of
a life she was once
the creator of
you leave stains on me
like the irregular shaped ones
on our cream shared bedsheets
I don’t mind
I know they are made up of what’s inside of you
the things un-naked
to the human eye
Human beings, once segregated by into dietary categories almost as strongly as by religious ones, into the people’s of rice or wheat, of potatoes or of maize, now fill their stomachs with unthinking promiscuity.
—” The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work”
-Alain de Botton
Maybe if I think hard enough
Alone with the moonlight for company
I will feel better
And things will be better
I think hard enough
And no longer feel
Maybe both are the same
“Can we be nice to each other again? “
I’m turned on my side and his head is buried in my back, his right arm encircling me for the first time in days.
The night before went unresolved, the air conditioner witness to his redundancy. I watch him like an outsider, unbelieving of his inability to communicate his true desires. He’d rather take us back on the monotoneous rollercoaster thats eroding the foundation of our love.
The more clarity I bring to him, the deeper he burrows in his familiar world of insecurity and manipulation.
I step back and step in. I somehow cannot bridge the gap of feeling through his heart, seeing through his eyes. Perhaps I don’t want to, my emotional immune system is on high guard.
I watch him like a patient, I the doctor that is immune to human suffering. He is in pain yet my mind tells me it’s his usual tricks. He is in pain within himself and his own self induced nightmares. My brain tells me this, it tells me to keep seeing clearly and not go off on that well traveled road that he has led me down many a times.
I refuse to budge, to repeat. I need to surprise.
He gives up and I blow out the candles intended for a romance that didn’t comply.
It’s dark and he asks me to come to him. It’s always this power play, his ego which has finally made me distant from him. My body obliges but my heart has befriended my mind and shed it’s emotions.
I can feel his heart in his boxers, tapping me to return to him. My body obliges again and we reunite without words, our tongues on other body parts, keeping busy to deliberately miss each other’s lips.
My eyes remain closed. He breathes heavily into my ear and I turn those breaths into words I need to hear, words that are sinful enough for me to come.
When we finish, I look at him in the dark and wonder.
Like I’m wondering this morning when he asks me the wrong question.
“Can we be nice to each other again?
Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.
I loved nothing better than sitting on the bed in that Austro-Hungarian room, the handles on the slim white doors high, paintings of the Hasburgs and other Aristocrats adorned the walls and the windows all opened in. I felt so anciently refined. And we would both sit on the bed or lay, or at times holding each other in a tangled web. Always music from my labtop played. He asked for Amy, I introduced him to Ella. At last, he sat, shirtless with only his boxers that fit so perfectly on his toned body, as if that brand was made just for him. His head tilted, he proceeded to draw my profile as he kept a lively conversation in that low, melodically, rumbing voice of his. This, this is when I loved him the most. His thick fingers producing a work of art that continually surprised me. He has such a genius look to him when he draws. He is at his most confident, a medium that converts the passion he feels inside to paper for us mortals to see. Watching his eyes roam my face, photographing what the natural human eye can never see, then drawing it so effortlessly, leaves me with an amazement and admiration I never felt capable of feeling.
He’s beautiful to me in his daily self, eccentric, quirky, engagingly passionate and funny, knowing and unknowing of his impact on others. The way he walks slightly on his tip toes, as if he was a dancer in his past life, but with such a manly and confident gait that it all comes off as a cool finesse. He is completely a work of art. His form, covered by slightly more than milky skin but with a touch of rose. His face, his mouth convey so many different experessions. Yet his eyes have a way of boring right into your soul, using his presence and body to back up what they see. But at times, in photos, they look back at something else other than the camera, giving him a mystical quality.
I believe no woman has truly understood him. And for that, and art, we share the same fate.
He was right; it was delicious. Everything Laura put in her mouth tasted like it ought to have been there before. Maybe food was the same as people and got more attractive the more you were exposed.
Other People We Married by Emma Straub
I’m sure she didn’t come to the bar that night intending to speak to this man. But yet, I saw that they were. And he was engaged. He spoke to no one else but her, which I’m sure encouraged her all the more, which told me all I needed to know. He’s a man that doesn’t tell love nor overtly show it. His love is his attention and time spent. And did he spend his attention on her? Yes, dominantly making it a statement. The band was beautiful, the singer taking up all the audio in the cramped space. So they had to get closer, to exchange stories, answer each other’s questions, and in doing so, flirt and fall in like.
I watched occasionally from across the room, saddened yet disconnected from our disconnect.
He seemed happy, talking with this stranger, this polka dotted girl.
Something he hasn’t been with me in a long time.
So I let him be, remembering the words he had told me just yesterday:
“Hanging out with you, there’s always a problem.”
“This relationship is stressful.”
He seemed to have no stresses without me, just endless possibilities with new connections. I’m sure she heard compliments, something that is removed to me coming from his mouth. I’m sure she received smiles, encouraging inquiries, earnest interest to know more about her. Maybe in between his wine drinking and her beer, they both entertained the thought of their naked bodies covered only by summer sheets. I know his cheek touched hers as they exchanged knowledge of each other’s lives. I wonder how she smelled.
I know it all.
I was that girl many months ago. Instead of a bar, it was a mutual friend’s house. Instead of that singer, it was some grad student’s itunes playlist. Instead of polka dots, we were wearing our decades birth attire, tacky and colorful 80s clothes and wigs. Instead of her, he was connecting with me.
But that is not reality. The reality is us later that night in our shared bed. I tell him my period is ended, hoping he will have sex with me so that I can convolute it to mean desire and love on his part. I say cursory observations about him having a good night and he alludes to vague explanations of no physical contact with me all week, my coldness towards him, my problems, me. He agrees he had a great time and I nod knowing it was not with me. He fucks me which I’m glad mostly because if he didn’t, I would have to deal with the incessant scenes of his criticisms of me, his happiness and ease with new females at bars, and how I ‘m no longer the polka dotted woman. Him fucking me insures I don’t think of that, yet the tears still silently roll as he enters and exits, pulling and pushing my body to please him. I’m simultaneously there and not, just like him.