He Asks What I Write (Part Two): I Write Spaces

Writing

*

Part One:  I Write Short Stories

I’m writing spaces, these blank places where we become better than our possibilities.

If I told you the truth, if I said all the words, you would end the conversation.  It sounds like a thud, this faux love that we make, this fucking on IKEA beds.

The good parts are in your head. The words ruin what was possible, bog us down, and cement the atrocities.

When the bed creaks, we don’t hear it.  When the pillows sigh, we have stopped listening.  Ribs cage us.  I don’t have the heart to tell you.

You can find my body and his in all the spaces, these places where everything was always greater than its assessed value.  Even in the sorrow, even in the badness, the emptiness is what warms us.

We fell in love with our own rhythms: the beat of our heels; our thighs, the rub.  I found him in the place I wanted him to be, the place where I was a thing worth finding.  He was a magnet, a polar opposite.  I rubbed him like lotion until he disappeared.

He Asks What I Write: I Write Short Stories

Open Letter

*

He asks what I write and I tell him, “short stories.”

But the stories are not short.

Not unless you want them to be.

Not unless I have a heart attack soon and die.

Not unless you just stop reading.

I have only ever had but one story to tell.

The periods are just for breathing.  Your ears, like cholesterol, inside my pounding heart.

You tell me it’s okay to relax, I laugh and say, “comma down.”

 

Fermented


He kisses my neck and recoils.

“Lotion?” he asks and I shake my head.

“No,” I say.  “I’m just sad, but this bitterness is spreading.”

“Spoiled?”

“Like fruit that’s been bitten through by bugs, rotting from the inside out.  Unsalvagable.”

“Alcohol?” he asks, looking for a silver lining.  He reaches across the table for my hand.

“Vinegar,” I correct and get up from the table, remove his fingers from their grasp upon mine, go over to the fridge.  Stand mostly naked in front of its light.  Breasts sagging, hair wilting.

The stamina of yogurt is beyond me.

Wonder how long it takes to make sauerkraut from scratch.  Wonder how long it takes to give up.  Wonder what we’re going to make for dinner.

The kitchen fan doesn’t work right.  I open the window even though we don’t have a screen.  Summer doesn’t seem as fun as it used to when I was lovable and the bills were paid on time.

“Want to order in?”

One more bad decision for the road.