I don’t think people know the many and strange entangled reasons a young woman would get into the car to be whisked off into danger by a white man twice her age.
To talk to them on the internet.
There are things far more dangerous than any one man, life for one.
But then you look over and realize you might be left alone with him, and question if you are walking away from death or towards it.
Also, what about those of us without escape? Where home is a safe slow stumble and life is a basket of blanket stares, longing and fear?
We have parking lots. Not cottages. We had gravel and tim horton’s at 2 am.
We sat in our parents car for as long as possible just to be alone.
We took baths. We took showers. We slept.
We hid in our minds.
Secrets became refuge.
Always watched, but so unheard. A thousand bruises went unnoticed as your parents locked the door, closed the blinds, and turned off the light to keep you safe.
Then you become an adult, and anywhere could be a possibility, but you that cage of your youth feels like a tomb drawing in.
Remember when the drinks stopped pouring and I came undone?
walking home completely sober limbs pulled apart
concrete under finger nails I dug in desparation
past any point of return
dug a grave shallow so all would see my rot
What prayers were said?
who stood vigil as I returned to earth?
did you sprinkle sand and seeds over my greening grave?
Did you kiss the memory of loving me in the dark?
the softness of my skin seared into your fingertips.
How many tears were shed?
did you count and collect them all?
A quantification of a life lost…
a callous number to round out so much incomplete dreaming…
footsteps never taken
passports never stamped
but so many stolen kisses
So many words bleeding heavy over poorly bound books
purchased in the absence of real direction
unfollowed up on
without any hope of panning out
effort to what end?
now I am the bones ground away by time
the marrow that feeds worms
now I wait for the sun
I rub your face with my sweat slick hands
Hands I sat on and rocked waiting for you to arrive.
Hands that were as cold as they were filled with anticipation.
My ass was cold through thin trousers made of cheap cotton sewed by small children.
Children with big eyes and brown skin.
Children that for a difference of a few years, looked just like me
I smelled my sweat and the cold wind hitting it just so that anyone who came near me would know … “Yes, winter sweat, that is what I am smelling.”
This intermingled with the rusty bench, cold and metal.
These scents existed in a loop my mind traveled across paying attention to each part in a sequence, over and over.
All while waiting.
Fluids fell out of me as I anticipated you.
Your feet stepping on concrete.
The feeling my eyes sent my hands as always imagining caressing your coat when I saw you before burying my hands diving past each layer.
I always sought skin.
I wanted to find where I could feel your life…pulsing and tell you with my fingertips how much I loved you.
I couldn’t with my mouth because it would scare us both but my hands could whisper truths to your spine.
I know your heart would hear.
For now, sweating and waiting.
As i wander through this city thinking, thinking, thinking, I realize a few things in part.
I run to this ideal of beauty that I feel my body betrays because I am so lonely and starving for intimacy.
Like all of us I want to be held, affirmed, loved by someone I feel connection to.
I realize though as I disocciate and fall out of panic…I am me.
Everything I often want to burn out of my brain are some of my greatest gifts.
I am lonely and human. I am a writer even if I struggle daily to write…
I am a bleeding heart sewn roughly to a sleeve of a shirt I want to tear off.
This bleeding heart is my humanity and my ability to love.
I pray to the ancestors.
I pray for my mother.
The blood I shall spill and the wrath of the mighty.
In the night I hear my destiny rush between drops.
Rain, she calls.
A river spills over my body from above.
May the world drown and the ocean swallow us whole.
May we tremble as our breath is pulled away.
Oceans, call to me.
Fathoms, reaching from fathoms.
Yemaya calls to me.
Mouths like mine, glistening through pen and ink on paper.
Illustrated fullness and so much inferred gloss.
Eyes furried with lashes.
A gaze soo sultry that it drips sooty kohl.
A body divided.
A beauty fashioned together.
The mathematics of artificial aesthetic.
And yet through the all the noise
Of features I do not have.
Within a geometry I cannot posses.
I see a mouth like my own.
I gave up the possibility of marriage and a house.
A fat pug, a chubby baby, safety in arms that held me and a framed degree.
Can I dive into the water instead?
Water deep and dark?
Can I relearn to love the feeling of being submerged?
I remember at 10, after diving off the diving board.
The electricity as I approached, dizzying.
Hitting the water and then …. silence.
Can I live there in the water just before resurfacing again?
I really loved that swimming silence.
Before becoming afraid.
What is good is not drowning, when I am endlessly choking on my own fear?
No shores, I will allow islands but no shores of safety.
No pool edges to cling to.
No false safe shores at least.
No, not for me.
For as soon as I take steps, my skin burns and I shrivel.
Please, can I swim again?
I think some drowning is needed.