Sitting drinking red Gatorade in the bath, water almost scalding with clementine coriander flavored froth, I reformulate my metaphysics. That is, tonight I’ll rationalize my lust to calm my breath, settle deep indigo ’gainst my boyish chest as I sink down. A self of pure sensation—I see promise here. And the conversations between feeling creatures create networks of what might be called reality that are most certainly both solid and contradictory.
I say out loud I’ll miss this meaning the city I chose to live in and now have chosen to leave.
I miss him.
Abundance is a term I’m wary of for the ethical implications. Still, to act out of lack is a sin. The word scarcity carries with itself the cause of so much harm. But I do believe that care must be taken. Attention should be paid. It’s all very fragile after all, and once these fragilities have been cultivated into loveliness beyond belief we can act out of generosity, welcome the other in and say look at all this, look at all the delicate things of the world we preserve with the work of our hands.
Moreover, I say as I dip my fingers down, it is a goodness to be affected, to let oneself stand naked on a balcony smoking a cigarette and choose to say a true thing. Wisdom is offered in return. That seems beyond your control, Then I fell there into a love so sweet baby blue cashmere, maple syrup savory ivory petal of an unnamed flower and wild raspberry scented so i walked two hours twice a week to lay on a cream colored couch and wait patiently for a time to ask more questions.
What is the spiritual?
I was sent iphone images in response, images of selections of religious texts I read at 2 am outside of the bar eating oatmeal. This was the night before he moved to New York. I made a note in my phone: misgivings about the eternal, also the real.
In the morning I walk through the honey wet leaves left after the final first snow. I read a book on agency, our power to transfigure ourselves into creatures of graceful importance in the cosmos, who might twist and twine ‘round bout each other and each medium sized dry goodness, and there weave wonderful messages deep in material for some younger minds to warm up wrapped up in in some future early spring.
An aspiration: to be honorable, steadfast.
To be sweet as crystalline bluebonnet petals arranged along my thigh.
I draw a pear at my breakfast table. This is one of the few activities I do in pure joy. It seems beyond my control. It forces skill.
I’m getting out of here, Chicago my most wonderful gratitude. I hold my mother’s idols between my thighs like Rachel in the bible story when she said I’m bleeding and everyone left her alone. She stole those idols, took them all the way to Jericho because you see Rachel was a bitch who got whatever she wanted. She gave birth to the two best sons.
I get what I want I say to the other one, the one from across the street who’s rosy, hangs persimmons from his ceiling, with a tooth missing, tarragon flavored and limoncello spit he holds me under the shadow of an oak tree down Sawyer and I let him in my apartment. It is a welcome and ethical distraction.
Do you want me to confess my love?
I’m not going to.
That’s ok. He leaves, gets home before his girlfriend gets off work. There’s no scarcity here.
You see, I’ve spent six years sculpted by midwestern light, light like bubblegum dandelion blood orange and mezcal. I’ve learned to love the taste of ginger. I’ve walked for ten miles through snow storms to deliver love letters I didn’t really mean. I found god in the marsh then left that marsh behind. I’ve taken images of rats in back alleys to send to old friends, look here, a rat! I’ve lied to women. I’ve admitted ignorance and learned to ask more interesting questions, what do you mean by that? I laid on warm concrete in the middle of the evening and screamed for someone to help and my brother on the phone assured me its ok and so it was. I grew sober slowly, recited old prayers, sacred valentines for the blonde men who’ve changed my mind, and l have turned attention towards virtue, towards the studying of physical forms and how to better be steadfast.
I dream of velvet black ribbons tied ‘round my winter skin as I sit on a hardwood floor and wait for him. I’m the holy virgin in advent sitting in delicious solid straw, with a virtuous pang in my waist.
It’s all so very graceless. That’s the basic idea. The grace must be curated by willing agents, the embodiment of cold water ’gainst the spiny skin of a child stepping into the aquifer spring. Submergence promises relief if only
Each nerve is attentive. Each muscle in active adoration of the world.
over – good
over – being
over – life
And still the over-ness is in-ness. I’m saturated by affection, by a meekness only the finite might unfold. Glory be to the three dimensions, large dicks, and divinity translated back and forth into coherence as an ethical exercise.
On the balcony after the second dinner he said to me The simplest explanation is often the best one. That did it, really. I lay in the sun on my cool tile floor, thinking of his tan lines. This is an honorable way to spend an afternoon. This is also an activity of joy, beyond my control.
Abundance like a cherry red sweater you could dip your hand in, smear like butter and roll over to lean on your forearm, tilt your head saying go on all kittenish, fresh peppermint and when you kiss after the shower he says that’s not fair. Then on the floor of the bookstore he explains that there is such a thing as quality that needs no further explanation and I tell him this contradicts me but in a few weeks I’ll concede, after I’ve told him I can’t wait around then smoke on my own false balcony, with orange juice in hand and wait for a response I’m sorry. Still the transfiguration at that time was complete and I knew I’d wear lilac shades that autumn, smile often, and begin to pack my things. And in evenings I’d recall curling up ’gainst his core as he said you’re smart, you understand and my eyes watered with Rhespigi playing in the background because I realized how little anger I held still in my lungs. These days I breathe luminescence. Gentle hands hold my head while thin lips kiss my brow. Abundance like deep plum juice dripping down my chin. Be generous with me. Take it easy, ok?
What is the spiritual?
No, not this at all. I grin.
In the gin bar I tell him the story of Abraham and Isaac. God provided the lamb last minute and everything was ok. The story could be Christological. Or it might be a lesson in forgiveness, in knowing that the other is acting with good reason and must be accounted for. We kiss on the sidewalk while a crowd walks around us. We are standing in front of his second best friend’s old apartment, or maybe at least he might have got the address wrong. We are the remnant, with my teeth on his lip, the last citizens of a city sleeping through its own birthday.
I’ll leave this place, I promise, soon. I need more time to understand how my face grew into my grandmother’s, sober standing by the bathroom mirror. I see her cheekbones and hear in her cracked cardamom cadence a childish and valid question, why can’t we all be kind? I recall her velvet blue skin in my hands as I washed her in her final days and she looked me in the eyes to say you slut. I kiss her forehead and sing a Baptist hymn. I would be lucky to lie as she did, to eat pastries, wear turquoise, and wake early to pick up sticks in the big backyard.
What wondrous love is this, oh my soul.
The self is everywhere in everything I lean ‘cross the table, frustrated, lustful.
I came here to see you. I want you. He suggests this is why religious men stay single. He remains reclined.
And now he’s in New York where he says he is having fun.
That makes me so happy. I do not lie. I desire the good for him so fervently I grow nauseous which my brother says is silly.
The Irish neighbor says he thinks of me fondly during our long absences and I invite him to visit me later if he feels so inclined. He tells me a story of a family vacation when there was a hurricane. There is an image of him being held by his sisters, floating in the wind. I watch him make sourdough. There’s photobooth pictures of him and his girl all over the walls. I tell him about the first date, about sending the champagne back and I say I’m really a romantic which he doesn’t disagree with. I leave grapefruit colored blood stains on his sheets.
I want to call him. I won’t. He’s an hour ahead. What is it?
It’s not the scent of fir tree from the candle on the sill, fruit punch on my lips, nor cum stain on my quilt. It’s not the laurel spiced oil I spread ‘cross my face, the denim shirt for sleeping, the sound of snow ’gainst the glass, the blood dripping from my unhealed heel, the culprit black boots I wore to dinner the night before last, nor his portrait on the table I’ve yet to finish and maybe when I finish it I’ll reach out and say look how handsome. It’s everything and it’s all the same. And god, so the story goes, called it very good.
I’m a dangerous materialist, caught up in a causal chain of little romances between substances with extension. I’m ethical and even as the night sky in October. I’m getting cold.
In the bath I baptize myself. Beneath the water I package each sensation in candy colored paper, with ribbon glitter, and simple transcription: xoxo.
Soft cinnamon trumpet swaying me from my iphone speaker set in the sink for further reverberation.
Crisp cranberry sugar tits, tense at the thought of him. Calm down, sweetie. Be conscious.
Marigold eros swirling round ‘bout my collarbones oh so baroque and crisp as the mythical wild west, I’d like to share one day but as of yet my bravery lags. There’s no rush. Time moves slowest of all, the great long leisure we urgently fill.
An arrogance the color of lavender that from these my creamy senses might arise a metaphysics worth writing down.
An arrogant sway in my hips, in Manhattan where I plan to move.
My idols press into my inner thigh.
I finish the Gatorade. I’m hydrated, baby.
Oh Illinois, you’re my apophasis. Empty, fruit punch lush.