She tells her, “You are the Universe, baby. The perfect galaxy. The reason I love the way love feels on me.” She watches. She stares. She loves the way love feels on her too but not everyone is eager to see them flaunting their version of love outside the closet.
“Alice and the rabbit hole, baby. A neverending journey. A hunt for sustenance. Blazing moonlight over cherry trees. I’d never chop you down.” She’s still professing her undying love for her. The charm that lifts itself from her skin and lands on her lips is a ten. A twenty if anyone’s counting. She’s tipping the scales tonight.
“Blue envy. Gray passion. Red all over and yellow inside. I bleed you.” She smiles. She fidgets with her jean jacket, twirls her bossy curls around her index finger, and sets a giggle free. “I would tip a mountain over, my love, if you were on the other side of it.”
Her eyes widen. She steadies her ears on every word leaving her lover’s lips and finally speaks . . .
“If I am all of this you claim, why are we still hiding? Does your mother know my name? Are your sisters aware that roommates is a loose term for what we really are? Did you tell your brother what we do when you’re “on a business trip?”
Silence is thick in the room. She slices it with her words. “The Universe never hides, baby. The Universe doesn’t have to.” She walks away.
Her lover follows her to the kitchen. She watches her hips as they sway. She’s in a trance. Her eyes log her every step. She pulls a thought from the air and shares it with her . . .
“But the Universe knows that living in harmony with everyone takes many sacrifices. It understands that offering itself up on a platter is not how one gets full. Please, let me take small bites until I am ready for more.”
A few pots clang in the kitchen. She’s rummaging through old utensils, searching for a spatula. Her lover’s voice lingers in her ears — on her lips. She stands back on bowed legs and reminds herself . . . reminds her lover . . .
me: how can you be sure this is love? her: she smiles every time she sees me. me: oh, but couldn’t it just be a delight to see you? her: I know love when I feel it. I ache at the sight of her. me: that sounds more like a belly or headache than it does love. her: don’t you remember, Tre? that’s exactly what love feels like. me: silence.
I will save a slither of humanity
for you, my cards held tightly
in my hand.
Do you have any hearts, my love? I wonder at the gates of your quivering lips, yearn to know
of the overwhelming tides that
broach upon your waters.
How can I buoy you?
This corybantic life has no end,
we race for a place in this world,
yet our souls have already outlived the past.
You say that the mystics
won’t allow you to love,
your heart is trapped in
a closet, confined to darkness.
How then will I bring you
I have given you life in
the oddest of places,
conjured up beauty indescribable
and attached it to your eyes.
To those who don’t know you,
they know you through me.
This isn’t enough, though.
You slit your wrists, cleverly avoiding consequences like
you’re famous for doing and I
swallow every condolence,
aching from your premature exit.
Oh love, where can I go
to be free of you, the you
I cannot know?
The fox in the woods
hunts for prey. The bear hibernates, full from months of gluttony.
The raven caws at dawn.
And I . . .
I burrow myself
in a time that can never
reveal who we are.