How many hours have we spent pouring water into stillborn flowers hoping against hope that the petals
would stir and weave back into buds? Did you think you would find some hidden treasure—some wide-eyed bushy tailed prospector's gold—buried in my soul? Maybe you thought you could save me from my sadness. Maybe you thought you could rewrite on the crinkled paper. But honey, if you iron me out you'll only burn the pages.
I remember wondering if your brightness would obliterate me; you thought there was a person behind the shadow. My darling, I am bottomless night.
Did you ever look in the mirror and not see yourself? Is it like staring into the sun with your eyes closed and realizing that your blood is fire and your body translucent?
Have you ever pushed your palm against your stomach and felt the cavernous yawning of a starving man?
For years my mother washed down my words with chemical sweetness and told me that daughters should never taste bitter.
Bitter? I beg to differ. Someone once told me I tasted of empty.
What did my lips taste like when you kissed me in the afterglow of T.V credits and first-date jitters? You tasted like ice and liquorice, like cold fire.
Did you feel your life leave through your lips when we kissed? I am a parasite for your purity. Did you feel your sheltered heart shudder and crack? That was my gift to you, my innocent suburban boy. Did you think it was lust? Did you mistake it for puppy love? That was your heartstrings resonating with the melancholy music of my breath. That was your answering echo to my own desperate sonar.
I can feel your heartbeat pushing through your skin when you lie next to me. With every breath your body swells with the thoughts I cast into the midnight air. Do you feel them piling into your lungs like free falling bricks as you inhale? Or maybe they go down easy, like sweet vermouth. Do they lodge in your throat and strangle you on their way to my ears? Is that why you cannot cry?
Do you try to rationalize my family? Do you think that if you tilt them just so that they'll catch the light and ignite? That the coal that is their soul will transform into something recognizable? Baby, they are blackened, charred wood. They're all burnt out.
My mother was a princess married to a pauper. My mother was a penniless peasant wife and my father an asshole. My mother was a person once. My mother was empty. Now she's bitter. She washes down her words with a chemical happiness, with a sweet blue pill.
My father was not smart man. He collected degrees like magpies did shiny things. He build us a life, but he did not build it very well. He was a self-made man, but he did not make himself very well. When the bough broke, it all came crashing down.
How can you demand that I be light? Do you not see that I'm not the sun? I am its undoing, its end. I am the frozen star, I am too dense for my skin, too dark for your soul. Did you hope to escape my gravity? Did you think you would illuminate me with your light? I will swallow you whole.