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Safety Is Not Other People

Asylum

The dependence of hunger givesway to a sharpened eye, a test subjectunsure if it’s in the control or the experimentgroup. Sugar or water or the choice to leavebefore someone else’s decision: paint mea reverie like a radio dial or a waiting room’ssplintering pique for your name. I want youto take my time. When a succulent isoverwatered, it melts from the bottom up,irretrievable from a surplus, watching itselfdrown on land. I snake a string of pearlsaround the pot to give it something of the seato welcome it while wasting; a terminallucidity in its shrinking. And you take my time kindly bythe spoonful, certain to slip the knifefrom my teeth, and how I love you harder for it.When you’re not looking, I lick the counters:Stray coffee grounds, mistaken yogurt dabs, cracker dust,anything to keep the taste of you in my mouth even whileyou’re here. We’re here. For now,we draw a bath to forget thatRBG is dead, and what was scalding, we let turn coldto know we’re still warm inside. What endurancedo we need to carve from ourselves next?I’d carry your child if you’d have me, provided I still canor ever could in these days of petroleum skin on the lakeshivering beneath wildfire smoke and Baldwinrightfully back in vogue. Would one be a fortune? Salt!Salt for the going, for the polish of the pearls.Where next the dishes and chairs are placed mattersas much as the light and the will to eat.

Some Things That Are Not Love Happen Out of Love

and those are the things for which we must conjurean alternate route in order to survive; acknowledgement is due, but without a whole body, the needs to be born, it is missing bone-mass, about 10%, in the right hip joint. Surprisingly, the spinelooks okay. Usually, that’s where girls like you lose the most.[Osteopenically speaking: sure. I can believe that.] I knew I waswalking into a room I hadn’t before, and I thought his parentswould be home, meaning safety, meaning answersto the three-day absence of the one person my mind couldnot unknot from. I hunkered Rocinante’s fat ass in placealone affront the house, the poor van’s dyspeptic engine pingingitself cool: maybe their car was in the alley. He wouldn’tsuggest you start taking salt tablets, because right nowyou need to raise your blood pressure, and the saltwill do that. And more water. Water, not coffee. The ceiling fanwasn’t moving, but its light was on; the porcelain headsto the pull chains, for once, were still, two baby teeth danglingfrom a robin’s egg gum. He said he was suicidal, that’s whyhe’d needed to not talk to me, not see me, or be near seeing mefor three days. Consoled that it wasn’t my fault, I said that’s okayand he took my hand and if you’d just raise your left arm andlay your head on top it, I can get a better angle on your heart.[Must it be a jab, sir? Surely, the echo is viable without a jab.] I justwanted to help, let him know the child I was loved the child I sawin him: a fellow loner, befuddled with these extra parts to cover,and a number of hick histories to dissuade. Go team weirdo!A resolute shift in his lean, new kind of press, one I wasn’tsure I wanted not Within fifteen feet, the instinctual reaction is to notmove or scream when confronted with this person undoingabove inside me the fan light boiling my sight barium green lit copper bluebird with a two-egg nest stenciled on the wall three fan tines becausea scream would give away the throat to four pillows to the couchfive fingers to a hand where’s mine need to just find home six animal yesand when his face reached my mouth, I kissed it with all I that I wasto keep him from lowering back down. It was the one prayerI could manage to summon, and it gave life back to one dead:of course, I made a practice of this worship: it was for love! Of course, I’ve carved my form with something mistaken for vanity I’m sent girls all the time with this problem. But you’re already perfectly thin. Why do youwant to be thin? because vain is where this started. It has the subtletyof a sledgehammer, my statement of control, and I’m workingon reframing repentance. I was a kid, and I did what I could to help.

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