Last night, I spent the evening getting bombarded by texts from an angry ex-lover. What had I done?
No, I had not given him what he wanted—I was never able to. Still, the texts flew in as if by hail, hitting me unexpectedly all over and in places that counted, with words that would take years to erase.
I fought the storm as hard as I could, trying to trick myself to believe that it wasn’t happening. I looked down and I was stuck in the mire of his life, coating me with a shell of glass as if I could melt his pain and empty him of his uncontrollable spasm. I fought back with his own words, which fueled him more.
I asked him to stop, to take hold, to think, to realize, to have foresight, to strengthen, to be strong, to not give in to weakness, to step out and see himself. To cry.
Cry sweetheart, like the lamb who loses his mother. Cry, baby. Don’t do this. I felt my skin melt, exposing my shattered bones. I was nothing but a shield for my own vulnerable self. “You’ll regret this,” I said, as my stomach went into my back and my heart caved from the blows.
You’ll find love more than you ever knew; you are just too broken for me to fill. I am not the pillar you seek but just a tip-toer through life. I plant no stakes, I seek no shelter.
I am the wind you cannot own.
My center is everywhere, in the corner of your thought. I suffer from plagues of ancient times, I am not of this world. I cannot be your earth. Nothing will grow and time will take more and more of our possibility, our solvent soil, our minerals and richness.
We are farmers stripping away our once fertile ground so walk away. Walk away. We are the rivers that rush unmindfully through our land. We have no business being here. Seeds need to grow and we are blocking their sunlight. Who are we? Destruction more powerful, we are natural and we are a disaster.
A natural disaster.
We set no example for any generation to come, only from lessons learned and behaviors modified.
We are the wrecking ball of our own existence. We’ve never been able to sit at a table together without something said being misinterpreted. We’re algebra and Latin, a Romance language that never crossed centuries. The only thing we have is a resemblance to each other, but after that we just erode like paint that dries and flecks and breaks off its surface over time. The color is there but the paint has gone.
I don’t love you I wanted to say, or rather, I can’t love you in the way you need. I never will and I never can, until you remove the words of hate. Until you stop the snowball fight. The thrown eggs, the jokes, the pranks, the anger disguised as pranks, the underbelly of your real self, the wallet that comes up empty, the trick that comes up told, the obvious incantations that echo in me like a never-ending tunnel, like a call for help or a stress signal from a far away land, the nuclear warhead designed to obliterate everything of who I am, the chemotherapy I sought to treat me but ended up killing me.
I cannot find you until you destroy that part of yourself that wants to destroy.
I can love you as I love any living thing, but your seeds have grown dirty, your aura grey. Your mouth has become filthy as the sins of your choices. I am devastated as I walk your lands turning over burnt parts of your former self, the self I met when we were born. I walk through a smoke-filled field shattered by detonated bombs, strewn with dirty white flags whose arms had lifted barely leaving the ground, the dirt that had buried them.
Music plays like a movie in war torn France; I’m watching you in a movie in this fake landscape. As I walk slowly over you I start to turn like a leaf in fall, browning and decomposing as if from within. I fall to my knees and scream out inside. To the love I never had. To the shepherds who walk their days alone. I cry out and beat my own chest, flailing to remember you. To feel. To be the war that separated us and brought us together. The engagement, like every war, our engagement.
Better to have walked away and never mixed bombs and chemicals and gunpowder and iron and will and gold and riches and puke and blood. We lost limbs this time. We forever stymied our destiny. We forever ruined our chances of ever being whole. We left bullets in each other that must remain. Only numerous operations can remove the invisible barracks to our psyches, ones that we covered with barbed wire.
How did I end up here, worse than before. Deeper on a more subaqueous dermal plane.
What television show did I watch to get me here? Let me switch the channel. What happened to hope when I’m clinging to my very survival as a human being? I am being fed but what? Hormones, chemicals, arsenic? Melted iPhones returning back to their original states through me. I can’t house you.
I left the light on when you were sleeping and I was trying to read and that just didn’t work for you. You barked at me like a fervid animal, a rabid beast. Leaving a little light on you interpreted as an entire sun descending upon your minutiae, a burden of Prometheus to push away the impossible.
You gave up your gills to bark from your throat.
You gave up your loving hands as you tensed every muscle to fight a ghost, you bore arms against my already broken dam…
When all I ever wanted was peace.
Editor: Seychelles Pitton