Please forget me. I won't forget you. You were right about poets. How right you were. Poets are liars and obsessive. Always trying to excoriate reality into something aesthetic and effortless and love into something digestible at all. You were right. They shouldn't do that. It isn't possible and they shouldn't carry on like it is. It is true that I went too far. Something simple about boundaries and delicacy or discretion had begun to elude me. You may continue to blame me and I can live with that but— according to a very famous play (which I'm sure you've heard of) Blanche explains that the opposite of desire is death (death!) Asked Mitch: So do you wonder? I don't wonder, or really we didn't have to wonder, did we? It was the easiest thing in the world to do but very difficult and painful to have done. I mean, physically painful. Like a toothache. Like sleeplessness. Sometimes desire is it's own death and has no opposite. No one has ever battered me quite like you. Early on you told me about a set of mathematical proofs which show that two curves with infinite length can have a finite area between them. Koch's snowflake. Gabriel's wedding cake. But the converse is never true. I don't know why you told me these things, but I did want to understand them. Poets are always trying to manufacture metaphors even from mathematics. I did try to understand you. I shouldn't have told you that I wanted to understand you and I shouldn't have wanted to understand you. This is another character flaw among poets. The general inability to let things go unsaid or unknown. I still don't know what happened between us or what any of it meant, although I am starting to feel okay about that. As every day it became harder and harder to measure any finite space between us. To even understand what counts as a thing. As anything at all. One can claim they don't acknowledge unspoken subtleties, but isn't unspoken subtlety the only way anyone can distinguish something viable and breathing from all the other pointless sediment floating along with the rest of the river? I'm not making that up. I think people discovered this all the way back in the sixteenth century. With letters and glances and common sense. I'm sorry for falling in love with you. (Really, I am.) Even the idea of you is unthinkable and obscene like picking up a wild animal. I'm not suggesting this could have ended any better. In general, I'm okay. In general, isolation is a good thing. It's just that your message was perplexing and took a long time to sink in. Because you spoke in opposites. When I pointed this out, you explained how one can contain multitudes. Well that sounds alright, but it doesn't mean anything. It could be true of anyone. Who cares. Multitudes are not the same as contradictions which make a person blurry and contrived. So yes. Your moody distractedness began to unattract me. The way certain words can create a story but aren't the story itself. Eventually everything you said ceased making any sense at all. (At all). So I stopped trying to understand anything. I think the problem is that this went down really deep. Well, for me it did at least. Deeper than I wanted. (But then you snap out of it. Then you realize that the well is deep but empty. So you throw in a cigarette. And the whole operation bursts into flame.) Do you see what I'm saying? I'm sorry that I fell in love with you. That was where everything was lost. Our sense of self and direction and urgency and humor and taste. I started to sense that you didn't really want to know me or know anything at all. You just wanted to wander around and pontificate and sulk as if things couldn't be knowable (only you called it brooding). Well. At least I know a few things about you now. Who you really are. It stung but I couldn't unknow. I said I wouldn't write you anymore, and I didn't. And that I didn't love you anymore. And I didn't. I had thought it was a pretext until I looked you in the face and said it out loud. Then I knew it was true. You know, sometimes words can do that, actually. I've realized. Poetry can do that to a story between two people. Make it into something, I mean. And then into nothing.
I have a bad feeling about all of this. I have a question with a devastating hypothetical inside of it. I once had a long list of questions for you, but I answered them myself. I am the one you are losing, remember? I am not a very good person, but I keep saying I am trying. I want to be let in, I said looking at your diaphragm. I used to imagine: [ ] I am making an artform of my own heartache as an enviable talent. I am starting to adore my own unlikely need. I am making something millable out of this, I am. I could mill a life so full, there's no room for you anymore. I am milling around in the quiet space you left, feeling fragile. I am starting to like it. I used to be yours; now I am mine. My dear, my darling, my dark cloud. I have no rules or secrets anymore. I am sure you know by now: you cannot possess a thunderstorm or bring one back from the dead. I was your first full stop, wasn't I? Wasn't I? I don't know anything for sure anymore. I don't want to haunt you anymore. I never said I would keep searching until I found you. I don't tell you what I'm thinking anymore. I keep ripping pages out of my notebook. I am not eating all my meals anymore. I never said I would. Okay, I did. I am making small but meaningful improvements. I am starting not to love you anymore. I still think of how beautiful you are, how your face fits your face. Fits the palms of my hands. I don't tell you everything I am thinking anymore. I am not a nostalgic person. I try to focus on the things I dislike about you. I love you less and less. I am erasing you, slowly. I used to miss you all the time. I used to want to talk to you even when I was talking to you. I finally realized it was the compass that was broken, it just took a long time. I finally realized the map wasn't even right, and anyway I can't read maps. I touch my own sweet and nervous spine now. I will still be the death of you. I would do it all again, but I wish I wouldn't. I don't feel like a ghost. I am not a ghost. I know you'll be okay without me, but not the same. I am learning to forget as a self-defense mechanism. I tore your pages out of my diary and stopped writing your name. "Write down everything and of course you'll remember things you wish you didn't," I read somewhere. Even if you never read this, you'll still feel it. I suspect you will grow to miss me terribly. When it's over (and it's almost over, I promise) just know I meant everything I ever said to you, even if I wish I didn't. I am taking nothing back, even if I wish I could. I would do it all again, even if I wish I wouldn't.
Even if you never read this, you'll still feel it. I am erasing you, slowly. I am learning to forget as a self-defense mechanism. I am making an artform of my own heartache as an enviable talent. I am making small but meaningful improvements. I am making something millable out of this, I am. I am milling around in the quiet space you left, feeling fragile and raw. I am not a nostalgic person. I am not a very good person. I am not eating all my meals anymore. I am starting not to love you anymore. I am starting to adore my own unlikely need. I am starting to like it. I am sure you know by now: I am taking nothing back, even if I am the one you are losing, remember? I can't read maps. I could mill a life so full, there's no room for you anymore. I don't feel like a ghost. I am not a ghost. I don't know anything for sure anymore. I don't tell you everything I am thinking anymore. I don't tell you what I'm thinking anymore. I don't want to haunt you anymore. I finally realized it was the compass that was broken. I finally realized the map wasn't even right, and anyway I have a bad feeling about all of this. I have a question with a devastating hypothetical inside of it. I have no rules or secrets anymore. I keep ripping pages out of my notebook. I keep saying I am trying. I know you'll be okay without me, but not the same. I love you less and less. I meant everything I ever said to you, even if I never said I would keep searching until I found you. I never said I would. I once had a long list of questions for you, but I answered them myself. I still think of how beautiful you are, how I suspect you will grow to miss me terribly. I tore your pages out of my diary and stopped writing your name. I touch my own sweet and nervous spine now. I try to focus on the things I dislike about you. I used to be yours; now I am mine. I used to imagine: [ ] I used to miss you all the time. I used to want to talk to you even when I was talking to you. I want to be let in, I said looking at your diaphragm. I was your first full stop, wasn't I? Wasn't I? I will still be the death of you. I wish I could. I wish I didn't. I wish I wouldn't. I would do it all again, but I wish I wouldn't. I would do it all again, even if it just took a long time. My dear, my darling, my dark cloud. Okay, I did. "Write down everything and of course you'll remember things" When it's over (and it's almost over, I promise) just know you cannot possess a thunderstorm or bring one back from the dead. "You wish you didn't," I read somewhere. Your face fits your face. Fits the palms of my hands.
Only the atrophied animal sleeping at your ankles. No need to chain me to the bedpost. Every seduction needs only the smallest of aches. Every concession: my shoulder tapping your shoulder. My teeth tapping your teeth. Call me your error. Call me your stray. Know that I am more than my heartache. More than my strangeness, more than my arms tied up together. You can't fix something broken with something else that's broken. Empty bucket. Spineless bird. Although you now know me like a nightmare and undress me with your moonlit mouth, I know it's not enough. Sometimes everything works out. But no. It doesn't. Please don't do that thing anymore. Please forgive me. For this and for everything else that's coming. And believe I never meant to let you tunnel into me like that. The way love twists into a heart, mercilessly. And keeps twisting. I believed you when you said you would not be gentle. I just thought there was nothing left unbruised when we met. Only my threadbare heart crawling with larva, brimming with ghosts. I thought I could take it. But then we got quiet. Eventually, I opened my mouth. Call me your downpour. Call me your death. That night, I know I dragged you through the gutter of this. How could you refuse me once you'd turned me over. Once you made me your sorrow, your specter. Your spiral staircase. Your cistern full of pond water. When you said do this and I wanted to. I would live here for another year just to feel like that again. A sharp grip around my wrists. Cool breath like bee wings up my spine. But now all I feel is the vacuum of your egress. Believe me I have enough grief to flood the basement. And enough regret to burn the house down. Tell me, what could stay upright in the aftershocks of this. Even my doorframe is now a skewed and haunted thing. So everything broken keeps breaking. And we can't take the bones out of our bodies. I can't unsay that I loved you. Now that you're gone, the moon follows me home. Call me your aimless. Call me forgotten. Call me your fuckup, your weakness, your garbage. Your favorite aberration. Tell me I'm nothing. You refuse to dismantle this, so I will. If it's harder to unlove a thing why didn't you just leave me there that night on the porch to whimper and crawl up the steps alone.
over and over you cipher and decipher me again again and hack me into 1s and 0s you hack me into pieces in addition to my heart take my lungs and all my teeth, lumbar, larynx, Jarvik 7 twist my screws out one by one by one by one it's been hard for me to care much lately, nothing really hurts except TypeError: print "I really am sorry." config==source(avoldprogram) loop loop loop it doesn't even hurt keep hacking
We did the very things we never imagined we would do. And it's too late now, I've had a long look at you. Suddenly it felt as if I'd never had any other life at all: I woke up wearing a black crêpe dress, sangria lipstick, and a tooth-crunching headache, dark and sharp. But I remained a masterpiece of composure didn't I? Nothing ever ruffles you, you noticed and also how I was not beautiful, but self-mastery can have the same magnetic pull as beauty, can be so powerful that molecules and people realign themselves in a room. The days that followed were a blur. There were times I couldn't even hear my own voice; it was hollow and infinitely far away. I didn't eat for two days. The doorbell rang and rang. I was busy reliving the moment where you and I ran up the library steps. Your navy shoes, the rain flecking our faces. I fell in love exactly how you'd arranged it. With my connivance, sure. But still. It was refreshing to find someone interested in me apart from my achievements or misfortunes, not always prying for more or trying to pick my life apart like a fish split in two and splayed open— those messy pin bones everywhere. You sat me down and told me the truth. Even if you don't like Poe, he invented the detective story. That was a long time ago. There was the evening you stopped me in the doorway to pick a thread off my sweater. Days later, I sat up suddenly in bed at the sound of your voice speaking clearly in my head. Come here. When I knocked, the door had opened quicker than I'd expected; I was staring out at the street thinking of something else. You stopped me in the doorway to pick a thread off my sweater. And how spectacular to be reflected in your eyes. I couldn't understand what you were saying, I was too busy turning your words over in my mouth, those delicious syllables. I heard you say: come here Then the amber-colored everything, like the afterglow of a dream. Your Cézannes and owls and playing cards, the closeness of your face in the dark. There was a certain disorientation of being the wrong girl, with the wrong man, in the wrong apartment. But what can you do when someone implores you: come here and reaches for your hip. And their eyes can see inside of you. And they know you've got the blues. What song is this? I asked to have something to say. My loyalties were all over the place. My hands, everywhere. And even then, despite everything, it still came as a shock to me. The next day, you used the words think and love as I moved my breakfast around the plate. Do you even know what love is? What it looks like? What it tastes like? How it shimmers for a second before it turns to ash and moves right through you like a ghost in the room. How it tastes like two takeout boxes, the clinking of glass, another red mouth full of teeth. Weeks can go by like that, and it gets harder and harder not to be hungry. You said I hate to keep harping on this, but you really must eat something. Yes, I know. My parents said Intelligence isn't everything, Julia. Yes, I know. Yes, I know. I like fried eggs! I like jam and toast! I can eat four slices! I can eat the whole loaf! I was speaking in a very loud voice, everyone pretending not to hear. Really, my wolfish ego eats everything in sight, devouring affection and paperbacks, demanding loyalty and silence and caffeine. But the body is weak, can be turned to off like a lamp. That's what I did. Meaning: the sculpture will emerge, but only when we stand still and are patient. Look at me, I'm talking to you. I could see inside you, too: all that art and math and regret adding up, mixed together, slowly frothing over. That's why you could sense my loneliness. Black tea, that's the ticket, you knew. No sugar but a heavy splash of cream. You told me things would get better, and they did. Anyway, that was a long time ago. It's been a while now. This Sunday morning, I woke up late and climbed from a heavy, complicated dream. Nothing left but a ringing in my ears. Someone who looked like you put ground glass in my food because I had no discipline. I am telling you this dream for a reason. Because heartbreak is my great secret, too. Don't you know— almost everybody's got one. Don't you know that I never stopped loving you so much it ached inside of me and almost felt like a sadness but a certain heaviness can take over, eventually it prompts a gentle goodbye at the gate, a parting glimpse, our fingers tangled then no longer touching. There is a death haiku for this, accompanied by a gorgeous piano elegy. It doesn't really have a name. Anyway, that was a long time ago. All I am trying to say is Hello, old love. I am still waiting for you. You've always been a planet without an atmosphere. What I mean is that you're smart. People like you. They tie themselves in knots for you. I did. A long time ago. Although it was unlike me, I itched to reach for your hand and when we were alone, I took it. Remember? How sensational to be holding your hand, to wake up next to you in the morning. You took me to the mountains. Taught me the difference between ebonized wood and true ebony. Swept the hair off my face, gently. By September, everyone noticed my appetite had improved. You'd be surprised what small, everyday things can lift us out of despair.
When you latch onto me, I can feel your heart writhing, and mine too, reaching. Tightens like any muscle. But inside the body there is no light. Standing in front of the mirror is a barren errand. Most mornings I barely resemble myself; it's like waking up with a stranger. I realize that you too have a profound misrepresentation of me as someone delicate and sick and needing to be nourished: looks underfed, looks like a trapdoor, looks like someone who owns nothing in the world. So what. I prefer to surround myself with little. I let you overestimate my fragility. I like to look like prey. Unlike you, always trying to need more than you need. Never learning that accumulation only makes you lonelier. I am going to break you of that habit, just wait. I am going to rearrange your insides until they are exactly to my liking. You're not even pretending to resist. Just wait until I smile at you with my teeth. Oh yes, what a lyrical, lilting laugh I have. I can see how nervous you get. But you never just go home. I know exactly what it is that you want me to give you, but I don't want to give it. This is not an attempt to be cryptic: you aren't going to get what you want. You don't even know what you want. Really. You should just go home. Even if we are alike, my dark is darker than your dark. Swallows it whole. I'll create more dearth inside of you than I've ever sated. Don't follow me. Don't look at me head on. The desire for nourishment can be nourishment itself. That's why. When you look at me, I start changing your insides. A look can do that. My eyes take on a new wetness to them. Don't follow me. Don't go where I am going. There is no bottom to my depth. And inside the body there is no light. You just keep falling.