“And, I think I love you. I love you.” It was the way I felt those sounds. The way he spun his tone. The soft taunting fear in his voice. Sincerity colliding with the symphonic boldness of what is true. My heart, writhing, heavy as a boulder, pumped blood like a cut to the neck. The pulse I knew as function became poetry. Like a thousand songs sung sewn together perfectly. And the tear, the needle, the moment of the word “Love.” Fierceness burned through me. There was no damsel to collapse at the knee caps. I am no damsel. Muscle turned to bone, bone to iron, vein to wire, blood to nectar, and skin to petal. I had toward a season of real beauty. The loveliness of a women with grace unbreakable. In my gentle smile there shone the bold sardonic violence of satisfaction.
The silence rang like my smile, all eyes squinting as if joy was a sun, cheeks folding into apples, lips spreading smooth like butter. At smile’s remembering. He could feel me smile. That rich wild silence. Ending the shouting days when his meanness could have killed. He’d name me hate, wretched brillo, beauty’s soar joke. I listened, still, to his voice sing with love for every other woman. His love had been battle. My mecca. My minefield. I was relentless. I chased with out mercy. Without shame. With out question of consequence or calculation of risk. I named him all. To love him is to seize with every piece of life kept under your skin and a breath later fathom death. To caress hell as if it were silk, wrap yourself in it, tight and affectionately. To love Matthew is to love all poisons, entertain starving beasts, enjoy every disease. Welcome bullets the way you would snow.
As the tiered battle moved once more toward crescendo the bending notes realized there demise. I listened as they faded away. With and for the other days. Few and far between. The glimpses of the way he needed me. He savored my defiant refusal to be forgotten. I was held in his mouth like honey. Moved naked, his arms begging my skin the way clipper ships lust during the cradling and capture of a violent sea. His lingering hand pushing at my muscle. Palms full at my hips, pressed tight, gripping with the sacred passion of a prayer’s salvation. I, breathing with heaviness wild enough the air could’ve carved canyons from flat rock.
And in that rest. In the moment of the word. Matthew’s voice became sound and still becoming more. Finally chiming and resonate.
In the echo of what was moment’s fertile voice. The world’s sky shuttered with gorgeous light. And the people in it, each one, for the moment lived glowing. Each an aurora breathing. The trees felt green. The ice sobbed recalling the brilliant hotness of sun. And how the moment’s air kissed warm, humid with candied melody. “I Love you Erin Delaney.” The dirt believed it’s self to be fragments of heaven. And I. The loved. Hallowed by eternal gold. Became a hummingbird.



Chicago, United States

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