maybe I am just a terrible person.
You must have picked scabs as a child,
Drawing your own blood excited you.
You continue to rip off bandaids,
To leave wounds raw, bloodied at your hands.
But you don’t stop at your own,
You scar my limbs, pox marks
Carelessly littered down my legs,
Scratches left open on my arms.
If you can’t let yourself heal,
The sadist in you craves the smell of burning flesh.
A minute or a month ago,
Your life was packed into a box,
But before you left, you left behind
Me; painted blue.
The colour never faded,
It ripened, like a blueberry
Who should have been plucked,
But was forgotten.
As hours fell from the bush,
Instead of turning black, it was like
You had coloured me green, making me
Bitter, the taste that
Puckers your lips and wounds your tongue.
I wounded my own tongue, I
Used it to slice you, used it to watch just how far
I could push you,
I used it to see if you would spit me out.
But you never did.
And there were days of such
Vibrance, such yellows and oranges,
Oranges that deepened to red.
But that red always darkened, into the maroon
That was the colour of the blood
That I caused you to spill.
And now, I am blue again,
Yet I am not so dark. It’s a less
Painful blue; a resigned shade of acknowledgment.
You wish you hadn’t said it. Looking back, it probably meant nothing. A flimsy exclamation in a brief moment of passion, two drinks in and vast distances away from any form of rationality. The result? Glowing smiles and a gossamer promise, wrapped around our ankles.
Do you regret it? You definitely thought it at the time. Maybe if you hadn’t have said it, it wouldn’t be true now. But it was so weak, so lacking in the conviction that now exists. Did you need to say it without meaning for it to develop meaning at all?
And now you speak it everyday. An over-saturation of emotion, so much so you can hardly recognize its strength at all, yet the it remains. What was once gossamer has turned to diamond chains, its prefect edges slicing into the bones of your angle. They wind their way up your legs and you feel the grip tightening around your chest. All of a sudden, breath stops, time stops. You’re frozen. You couldn’t get out of them if you tried.
The chains still glitter, maybe more than they did before. 24 carat diamonds that imprison you. You long for that submission, you feel like it empowers you. You craft a spell for yourself, a wave of your own wand to forget the pain of the stones digging into your skin. Pray that ignorance remains – hope that you’ll be numbed from it forever. The chains are the most painful of burdens.
And then you realise, maybe the words were better off said without meaning. Meaning is weight, meaning results in hooks, digging into your skin. You’re now sinking.
A veil of gossamer has never seemed so appealing.
I am your bedpost,
You cut into me, you leave nicks
You leave grooves.
Shallow, deep, permanent.
The years have changed my hues
And I darken into maroon.
At least I’m not just a notch,
You’ve left a multitude of scars,
I am not just a mark.
Paint me a future,
The brush cuts like glass
And leaves a see-through valley.
Give me a ring,
I’ll give you resistance, but please
Break me down.
I am your bedpost,
For as long as you’ll have me.
I am your bedpost until you throw me out.
salting my dirty wounds.
Combing through my hair to find
the coin the magician hid next to my ear.
Red wine hangover.
A headache that reaches my muscles,
you’re the last person I would talk to.
I’m weary of you,
but pleasantly relieved that you’re willing to stay.
Sorry for the drink that emptied too fast,
this glass is never empty.
But nothing tastes like a vintage,
Bold. Full bodied, filling my mouth,
Pressure on its roof.
And now you’re cloying,
Syrup runs across my tongue;
Into the apples of my cheeks.
But I’d never spit you out. Mum always said
I had a sweet tooth.
Reminders of memories past, reminders of memories to be.
I have shelves of souvenirs above my desk in my study, next to my bed in my room and scattered in various locations all over my house. I pick up a teddy from Hawaii and I’m reminded of the boy I met during the summer of ’09 who I always wished I had gotten to kiss on the cheek, just because he seemed so sweet. There’s the incense from Hanoi still on the chest of drawers which smells like the store I bought it at, where there were filthy floors and spotless windows. Souvenirs mark where we have been, a trail of achievements and memories that are physicalized into tacky keychains and fridge magnets. They help us to remember the beautiful without being beautiful themselves.
Calendars are opportunities. Write in everything you want to do – write down a time, a place, the people. Stick to what you write, you’ll do so much. You have memories coming in packages; human packages, travel packages, food packages. Calendars help to ensure you can look back and cross out achievements in your life: went to the dentist on the twelfth, check! Hung out with my best friend, check! They’re more satisfying to look back on than to write on, but you can’t have one without the other.
But if calendars are of the future and souvenirs are of the past, what is of the now? Do we have a shelf in our mind where we start stacking our experience? Is it in a glass box in a pedestal perched in our brain? What if we haven’t planned for the now in our calendars? What if we forget to buy a souvenir to take home? So you have now and it’s glowing in your hand, but it’ll dim soon. You have an energy supply but only for a while. Write it down, take a photo or tell a friend. Keep the energy surging, but don’t blow a fuse – too much energy and the meaning is lost.
You lose souvenirs, you neglect calendars and pretty soon now ceases to be “now”. Clear out your house, throw away the empty boxes. Uncluttered memories are memories that last.