Romance: A Fairy Tale
When I finally realized who I was I wanted to go out and screw the world.
One man at a time.
I thought it only fair that everyone get a chance to see what I got.
My first victim, unassuming enough.
In fact, I can’t even recall what he was wearing.
His pants, green or a dark blue. Jeans maybe?
The color of his eyes.
The color of his hair.
Was there a gap in his teeth?
He ordered breakfast from me. I obliged.
A coffee, some eggs, bacon.
I told him we didn’t have bacon.
Give me what you’ve got then.
It was at that moment I knew.
I would give him what I got.
I poured more coffee into his yellow mug,
He barely looked up over his newspaper but I felt his willingness
to know the improbable
things in life, the sliding of a phone number under three dollar bills change,
and the walking away with certainty that the improbable just turned probable.
I felt his willingness to know the improbability of a garden
later that afternoon: a bottle of wine
on the table, blocking the two people.
The improbability of Can you move that bottle? I can’t see your face.
There, that’s better. There you are.
The improbability of that butterfly landing on the bougainvillea bush
and the sun dropping down for the day
so the two faces are lying faces at the moment
when the butterfly lands on the red flower bract
coddles its wings against the petal, the brilliance of its red blinding
as making love for the first time, that first skin against skin battle,
the loss of sight that accompanies it.
They aren’t telling the same stories they were telling that morning in a restaurant.
The faces are softer now, sunlight has wore them down, and they are smiling.
The two faces are telling beautiful untrue things.
That’s what a lie is: the telling of beautiful untrue things.
Love is improbable.
The butterfly is improbable,
but as I drop his change I know that we’ve already seen that butterfly.
That nothing can ever be proved,
the mathematics of two bodies coming together, inexplicable and unsolved.
That I do not even have to look back to see if he noticed my phone number,
because like all improbable things, it is bound to occur.
We are bound to be in that garden at 5 that afternoon, we are bound to stare through
the glass of a wine bottle until I ask him to move it,
when I notice a butterfly on a bush.
He is bound come sit next to me, to kiss me
in a backyard garden with the words What are the improbable things?
heavy objects knocking about in my chest.
This is no longer improbable but inevitable.
There is no mood or passion art cannot give us.
I can give anything to this. Anything.
I can make this mean anything.
I am art.
I must give what I got.
Thus, the history of art has been altered.
When he walks out of the restaurant, the history of art,
The history of me is altered.
Things either last too long or not long enough.
This will not last long enough.
So I must fill in the blanks.
My first victim: very assuming, brown eyes, brown hair,
tanned skin, green pants, brown sweater,
gap in between his teeth, English accent.
He comes into my place of work for some breakfast.
A coffee, some eggs, bacon.
As he sits at the table reading the newspaper and eating eggs,
he knows that later when we are lying in the bed
And I say How improbable, here I am, a stranger, lying in the bed with you
that he will curl into me, wipe a hair from my eye and whisper
You’re not a stranger. You’re not a stranger at all.
It is a sad madrigal, this tale.
I said I wanted to go out and screw the world
but that was another lie, another beautiful untrue thing.
I found him where I knew he would be,
poking at his eggs, sipping his coffee
at the exact moment I knew he would be there,
10:18 am, Friday April 23.
and I gave him all I got.
I didn’t want to screw the world.
I wanted the world to love me,
one man at a time.