At First Glance

Can you feel this?

I would not let us speak, to say the unnecessary words that serve as a blind, the everyday murmurings, till the desperation of time, or this breathing behind closed doors turns our human bodies the usual way.

Words that serve as a blind are like Japanese rice paper against a burning flame: they only serve to suffuse this strange passion, a glow against the dark lean-leafed fingers of the night outside. But here is no controlled house fire, no tiny lantern to guide eyes down rigid lines down a page.
Here, I fear to touch your cheek with my finger tips… what scars would I leave? I ache to feel your scalp under my palm, cool skin to warm, but there are flames running up my wrists…I fear hurting you.

But this is only the beginning.

Soon you will beg to be burned, to press your sweat and dreams and anger into my skin so I carry you like a tattoo.

Soon I will press and drag my fingers into the cold recesses of your mind and pull you close, urging you to not leave space for thought or.. words, that serve as a blind, the everyday murmurings, till the desperation of time, or this breathing behind closed doors turns our human bodies the usual way.

Here, see this: the purest ground you will ever lie on, lungs aching from the strain of taking in the smell of rain. Here is the moment before the music starts. Here is the moment when just standing in front of you is almost too much to take. Here is the moment where with absolute care you reach out to touch the ends of my hair with your palm, as if I would break or disappear if you held too tight, too soon.

Our eyes begin it, before the music does. Digging deep past bone, we look into each other trying to see what brought us here, when did the words pause themselves?…

…I swear if you were to touch my shoulder, here, this knob, this flat blade of skin that moves reflexively under yours, while murmuring hello, welcome, please stay.. if you were to touch my shoulder, I would cling to your skin, nose and mouth buried in the deepest parts of your heart, hopelessly afraid of how you came and then words left the room without a fight.

Where is the dance, the light laughter over cold water in cheap crystal, over roses sad-faced in tiny bud vases, over the stained cloth, and knives and forks… where is the opening of doors, the traces of ice cream on chins, the noticing of your walk-rhythm? Where are those silly moments when like napkins we twist to keep each other neat and tidy, tagged with a number memorized by the second afternoon?

You will hurt me. This does not cause any fear, for it must happen.
What causes fear is the thought of you holding me away from you after, and looking and looking— and not saying a word, for after they left, they refused to come back in.

I beg you, don’t. Leave if you must. But do not stay silent, and just look. I will wither and stay creeping about the flush-tank, the curtain rod, in the corner where the a/c doesn’t reach, for I will not be able to leave… I will not be free.

Kill me.

Take my heart and bones and gasps in your fingers and run them through like sand out the window. The flowers that will grow will not speak to you, for they are polite neighbors who are interested only in the weather. Take me and let me come in— I will show you the lonely places of your bed, the old memories of your head that nowadays, sit mumbling outside your door. I will show you the lonely places of me: the warm inside bend of an elbow, a hip-bone left to be bravely alone— my shoulder will speak poetry to your chest, murmuring, watching the tiny dark roots wave like grass under wind over meadow.

I will know the fear only till you tremble with me, your mouth and eyes a mirror for this surprise— where is the opening of doors, the traces of ice cream on chins, the noticing of your walk-rhythm? But then we will melt, honey over sun-dried silk spun from a worm that sat within the heart of that first apple, and knew what it was to sleep with desire in front of a god. We will melt and surge like an ocean, tasting our salt. Bone to bone, I will watch your face to see if you ever close your eyes— Please, do not close your eyes.

At some moment, our arms will hold each other, our chins and cheek seeking out the warm space where neck turns to thrumming skin… the words will come like ancient women from some fort, and laugh softly, making music that we will both ignore, concentrating on my breathing, your breathing.

I will tell you of being barefoot in a room filled with home, at age 10. You will tell me what your favorite song is, again. You will mouth the words to me, and walk your fingers over my face and chest.

I would not let us speak, to say the unnecessary words. It is like Japanese rice paper against a burning flame: a glow against the dark lean fingers of the night outside. But here is no controlled house fire, no tiny lantern to guide eyes through rigid lines down a page.
Here, I fear to touch your cheek with my finger tips… what scars would I leave? I ache to feel your scalp under my palm, cool skin to warm, but there are flames running up my wrists…I fear hurting you.

But this is only the beginning.

Can you feel this?

At First Glance

Priyanka Joseph

Joined January 2008

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