25 October 2012


amidst the scattered remnants
of the life I left
I recall seeing the clothes strewn on the floor
the occasional cigarette in the ashtray
half-drunk glasses of water on the sill
there so long that a film of dust covered the surface.
I recall the dim lights we supplemented with enough candles
to burn the building down, the romantic embraces and
the way you’d pull me in close as I stirred dinner
and, the large words you scrawled over thin paper
we lived on each other
ate the sweetness as well as poison
we each had to offer
my tongue filled your mouth each night
and I would wake up hours later
to find you slumped over the chair
more words pouring forth on paper
you grounded me
and while so different from the others I’d known
I found myself imitating you, as is my way,
admiring you
wanting to be like you,
so possessed by your passion for the storm inside
that it overwhelmed your life
I wanted to know what it felt like to be driven
and consumed by one’s work and thoughts
so that the rest of life, so often exploited to be important,
would become meaningless

the laundry was never folded
and I began to wash the sheets every week
knowing you would not
the dishes rotted until I rolled up my sleeves
and I pulled matted hair
from the drains of the small bathroom with the cracked sky-blue tiles
the ugly side of love disenchanted me
and no crushing wave of memory,
of the beginning,
could dredge up those first miraculous months of lust
our bodies entwined still
but my mind wandered to other cities and the life I might have
if I left you

I had not become you
the chameleon changed its look and ways
but could never truly transform
I could not embrace the recklessness and fever of your passion
and my attempts would keep me awake at night
cold sweat on my back
and racing thoughts that I, yet again, was wasting this life
I could admire, yet never achieve
I was not like you

I packed a small bag
the bra that had hung on the armrest of the sofa for three months
finally pressed my flesh again
and I roughly pushed my own scattered thoughts into a pocket
they were written rudely on recycled postage paper,
thoughts I could never have shared in the shadow of your brilliance
I made the bed one last time as you slept defenselessly on the sofa,
head back and legs apart
I looked at you and knew I didn’t love you
not for your plain humanity
or the fact that sometimes you don’t shower enough
no, I did not love you
because when I did
I loved what I saw in you
that I was really searching for
within myself

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