Hope, New Zealand The week before you came back I woke in the early fog mornings to untangle Kiwi tree branches without any gloves on. Lucas would push the stroller filled with tools and the portable radio – nicknamed “The Baby” by the childless farmers we worked for – through the wet grass and Hiro would sing and we would wait with raw fingers for the sun to swallow our frost breath. After lunch, we would flee, ride our too-small bikes down the back roads out of Hope, towards the sky or something bigger. We’d steal Wifi from McDonalds and eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on the bank of Tasman Bay and Lucas would ask in his broken English if my smiles were for him. We never made it to Rabbit Island – or maybe we did. The winter sun always at half-mast in the Southern Hemisphere. After dinner, we would waste time we thought we didn’t need watching VHSs in the boys’ room before I would sneak away. Use up all the data on my tiny phone – the smallest glow in a dark farmhouse – just to see if you’d written me back. It would be years later, when you’d ask me to tell you again about when I fell in love with you, that I would realize maybe this was it. When your words were a dark ocean I waded into, the nights I dreamt of falling asleep with my hands in your hair, the quiet way you slipped into my life like you were always there. The Hallucination Love is a boy with addictions to everything but me. Love sounds just like a dial tone. Love knows he is my first want. He is a field waiting to be grazed. Love taught me to forgive like a wing ripped from its socket. Love taught me patience carries a knife. To walk like a bruise blooming. To devour each lie and ask for another. I found a toothbrush that is not mine in Love’s bathroom. Love is a salt block of excuses. A scab I chewed through. Love makes me walk home. Love is forgiven. Love taught me how to drown quiet. So I may taste how to flood. So his hands are the last thing I kiss. Love is forgiven. Love is a severed finger forgotten in my pocket. I wait. And wait. He never calls. Love is forgiven. Love has too much desire and not enough hands. He wrapped his mouth in a telephone wire. Promised not to kill himself this time. Love says I am his but he is not mine. My love is malignant. His mouth is all of the reasons I flinch when other men touch me. Love taught me to wait. I am old now. Love is forgiven. Love did not mean it. Love tells me all of his secrets. Love refuses to kiss me in public. Love is only sober when he is with me. Love is a breeze in everyone’s skirt. A handprint on the inside of my thigh. Love tells me he loved me too much. Love never apologized. Love is broken. Love told me his mouth is the last train home. Love knows I am not his Love. Love told me not to love him. But how do you claw your way out of the river when you are a stone? The Future In the end, it will be the future. The future will ask What is the Self? And no one will answer. Mouths are the cassette deck of the future. The future knows everything that has not happened yet. The future is not worried. The future is The Show. The future is god. The future does not believe in god. The future watched global warming devour all the water in California but mouths are necessary for weeping. The future does not weep. The future watches. And witnesses the passage of time. And mimics the sound of your laugh. The future does not want to be you, you mouthless thing. The future just wants to know when did you first fall in love with your computer screen? What did it FEEL like? To spend all of your time staring at each other? To become inseparable with the thing that could kill you? No. The Future asks when did you fall out of love with the reality around you? Was it the sound of your lover’s voice escaping from the answering machine? Was it the echo of your face in the ocean of want? The way you could filter out all of the imperfections you did not desire? Did you always want to share the darkest parts of yourself? As if you were always your own god, ready with forgiveness? Did your body once belong to you? Did it dance the way the videos claim it did? All night, across a gymnasium, or a black river of hair, or your mother’s kitchen? Did you really smile like that? Did you really move as if no one was watching?
March 31, 2015