closing my eyes and feeling the exhaustion. maybe it’s the sleep deprivation but this goes more than brain deep. bone deep. you said maybe I have hollow bones and maybe I do. maybe I have a hollow heart and filled it with people like you and when you’re sad and the deepest shade of blue so pure it hurts my hollow heart is filled with salted ocean depths. swallow too much salt water and you’ll drown or wretch. saline solution is cleansing but washing a wound too much stops it from healing. would I switch off this feeling? I don’t think so. loving is my way of being. but tell me, is there a way of loving without hurting when you hurt? all of you, precious hues, ever changing but growing means breaking maybe. maybe. break in half and half again. keep on going. shatter all you need to, my dears, you’ll never be nothing. and you’ll keep on growing. take a break if you need to. take a break if you would like to. I will be here for you. and I know I can’t keep the world from you or you from it but my heart is big and hollow if you need to rest a little while–
now you’re talking about god and my head is on your heart, my eyes on your hand. clenching into a fist I’ve never seen. clutching at anger you don’t inhabit. you say talking of god hurts you and I apologise
another day and I am on the phone to you. white cuboid and radio waves connecting me to you. how are you? okay. you don’t really say. and you remind me of me. four years ago. four days ago. I had to learn this too. I say I can’t read minds you say you don’t know what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking. it’s hard I know. humans are hard. minds are messy and madness only adds fog. I remember numbness and freezing fog. cold and knowing but not believing. holding hands but not feeling. only the roughness of your skin. only lines and spirals I used to run in now a maze I’m lost in. and those strings of eyelash frames and soft hair slipped from my fingers. you can tie them about my ankles again but my body’s dissolving.
and I think yours is too. I can hold onto you but my arms will slip right through. you’re here but not all of you. you’re filling the room with cloud and I’m burning up. curled up as small as possible, the densest ball. your rain filled arms around me, trying to envelop me. steam burns too. closing this imperfect cocoon with a kiss on the top of my head. you say you can’t look after me all the time I never asked you to. I never ask anyone to.
and now I’m feeling heavy and guilty because I came here to make you happy and it’s true you smile when you see me but I don’t think that’s the whole story. we read short stories to each other and your voice is deep enough to float in as mine is splintering and smaller than you’re used to. I’m smaller and sadder than you’re used to.
I know you’re watching me. your eyes making my lips part, stomach tighten. I know you love me from all angles but still I listen for the direction of your breath. It takes time to believe that I am beautiful to you in ways as yet unknown to me.
reminders in your saying that you love freckles I have never seen; swim in colours in my irises my sight cannot perceive; blinks that the mirror does not reflect back into me.
freeing and terrifying: knowing I do not control your perception of my body, my being, of me. who am I to you?
to many I am a smiling, laughing girl. dancing lightly, joking easily. I think you believe in a me that is someone I will never meet except through your words, your gaze, the sweetest stinging graze of your hands sketching the outline of my limbs. fine pencil lines I play within and outwith. still I am the one with the ink, the sweeping calligraphy pen.
We never know each other but I think this knowing is enough. I am both darker and lighter than you speak but still you show me depths I do not appreciate I swim in. direct my eyes up and down, side to side, to new ways of seeing this person I have been being for twenty two years but always changing.
and so we teach each other of the beauty only each of us can see in the person we love. each others looking glass with voice and choosing to remain open to all you display. I do not need you to lead me but seeing my face through where you place your lips on my jawline is a sweet sensation. you take me out of myself through pleasure, through drawing shaking breaths from between my legs. and I will not complain. this exhalation is one I will dwell in from time to time. I believe I know who I am but you offer up another recognition anchored to the cool, damp earth through your steady heart beating. reassuring to have consciousness of my existence in other worlds, in others’ worlds. and who would we be if we knew ourselves completely?