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Beneath their beautiful eyes

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Aftermath

I smell you in the morning, like sweet honeydew curling around my fingers. In a soft tendril of fragrance, I watch as they cast shadows, twirling in bed sheets painted by hanging linen against an open window. They're secretive, billowing from the warmth of the sun. I am radiant against you, for you, wrapped in you. I will be for all of time. Let me love you. Take me in. Become and we will, too, be wrapped like irises of gold trapped in the small kisses you left against my shoulder and spine. I think that is where you will stay. I will keep you here in pale stains, made from our love, where my heart will trace the lines of forever. Infinity is spent, only in you, my love.

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Untitled

You lie to your hippie boyfriend, Matt, who drives you to the train station near his house. You’re going to visit an old friend you knew from Jewish summer camp, you tell him.  You’ll be back before midnight.

 It is the summer of 2005, you are a few months away from turning 24. You are living in the Hamptons, a waitress in the same restaurant you worked in when you were 18 and Billy Joel –the fucking piano man—threw a salad at you. You’re dating a guy named Matt who is 28 and lives with his parents, and works at a nonprofit and loves the band Phish and steals oxycotin from his disabled father.

 Then one day Jager (like the Jager in Mick Jager) which is his fucking real name and you hate him for how great and stupid it is at the same time, calls you out of the blue and says, “I’m in The City, come see me.” It’s been two years since you broke his heart and he moved to San Francisco, and the sound of his voice makes you want die and orgasm all at the same time.

 You remember the night you broke up, when you said to him, “I love you but I’m not leaving New York. I can’t do long distance.” And then you fucked on his living room couch, the leather sucking at his skin and your skin, like suction cups trying to find their grip on a tile wall, but never succeeding.

 And he was sad and teary eyed as you fucked him and he bit your back and you clawed at his thighs and he kept saying, ‘I love when you cum on my cock. I love when you cum.” You still hear the anger and desperation in his voice two years later when he says, “Come see me” that it feels like your heart is breaking all over again.

 You wonder if he is still dating the Ani DiFranco look a like who he sent you e-mails about six months before, but you don’t bother asking. Knowing about her means you can’t deny her existence later.

 Your hippie boyfriend stays with you on the platform until the train comes and you spend three hours on the same train and finally you wait for Jager in the sweltering late morning heat outside of Grand Central station. You dressed down, a t-shirt that is too tight and jeans with a tear across your right thigh, trying to look casual and like you don’t give a fuck.

 He shows up wearing expensive jeans, and a bright white button down shirt, carrying a rolled up French Movie poster from a store somewhere downtown that you know he will meticulously frame and hang in his living room somewhere near the Pacific Ocean. He hugs you so tight that you can’t breathe and he is tall and your face presses into the center of his chest and he smells like lemons and sweat. His bright blue eyes are flickering, like behind them someone has lit a match.

He points south, down Park Avenue and says, “My hotel is over here. I’m staying at the W.”

And there is no hesitation in you to go with him, just to change out of his shoes he says. He holds up his long leg and lifts up the hem of his jeans and he is wearing brown dress shoes. “I just need to put on some sneakers.”

You’re not going to sleep with him, you promise yourself. You have a boyfriend. You’re not that kind of girl.

An hour later your cheap Old Navy jeans are crumpled in a heap next Jager’s king size bed on the 10th floor of the W hotel and Jager is fucking you from behind and something about the way he moans feels like he is answering  all of your problems.

He is the answer to your shitty job, the answer to living in the same town you lived in your whole life that you swore you’d never move back to, the answer to your hippie drug addict boyfriend who is sitting at home and probably jacking off, waiting for you to call him so he can come get you from the train station.

Then Jager says it, he leans forward, grabs your neck with his hands, gently, pulls you up off the bed and whispers in your ear, “I fucking love when you cum.”

You have sex twice, three times, until the sun sets and you begin to believe that this many orgasms is exactly what has been missing from your whole lifethe past two years. That you live in the fucking Hamptons, serving over priced fish to rich people, and date a prescription pill addict because no one has fucked you right since Jager. You doze off with his arm resting on your hip, his limp dick wedged between your ass cheeks and think when you wake up, you’ll tell him that this time, you can do long distance, that this time, you can move to San Francisco, that this time you’ll give up anything to love him.

At 9pm, Jager is kissing the side of your face. You wake up and he is fully clothed, your jeans and t-shirt and bra are neatly arranged at the end of the bed. “I’ve got a big meeting in the morning,” he whispers. He pulls the covers off your body slowly and then retreats to the bathroom. You feel naked, for the first time in hours, cold and covered with goose bumps from the A/C that hours ago felt as if it wasn’t even on.

You put on your clothes clumsily, finding your flip flops, searching for your underwear. You can’t find it, but it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t a sexy pair. You rationalize that because you didn’t wear the black lace thong, that you had no idea any of this would happen today. You wonder what the maid will think when she finds your pink cotton polka dot underwear somewhere in the corner of the room. You remember Jager ripping them off and tossing them somewhere near the front door but he comes out of the bathroom before you think to look again.

“Do you need train money?” Jager asks and you remember making a joke the day before, when he called, that you were poor. He reaches into the back pocket of his jeans and pulls out a big brown wallet. He hands you a 20 dollar bill from a stack of 100. “Is that enough he asks?”

You take the money, which you don’t really need, and shove it in your back pocket. It’s enough, you say. You both stand there awkwardly, like strangers, like two hours before he wasn’t pulling your hair while you sucked his cock.

“I’ll walk you to the station?” he asks. In the elevator an old couple talks about the price of hot dogs and you laugh but Jager doesn’t crack a smile. You walk up Park Avenue. The space between your shoulder and Jager’s feels like the width of the Grand Canyon, like if you said something all you would get back was an echo.

At Grand Central he hugs you. It is quick, fast, light. You can feel the hours of sex and the humidity of the city trickling down your thighs. You don’t know what your face is doing but it is doing something because he says, “Oh, don’t look so sadd Kris. Kiddo.” So you smile, tight and hard and he hugs you again, fast and light, and he says “Call me when you get home?”

On the train ride home you call Matt, your boyfriend, you’re crying but you can’t tell him why, he sounds confused and concerned. You hate how worried he sounds. You hate that you can’t tell him that you just fucked your exboyfriend and it was amazing and you want to say, “I don’t love you Matt.” But you worry that he will not come pick you up, that he will go into his father’s bathroom, slip an oxycontin out of the medicine cabinet and snort it before you can get home. You’re just sad, you lie, you’re just sad about saying good bye to your friend and maybe it isn’t all a lie. Maybe it isn’t all a complete lie.

    The next day, back at home in the Hamptons, you write Jager an e-mail. You start it out by telling him you love him that you’re sorry you broke his heart two years ago, you apologize for being young and scared, young and scared and selfish. You promise to love him completely. You promise that this time he will get to have all of you, that you’re ready.

He writes back, five minutes later, that he needs time to think about all of this. You sit around holding your breath, turning blue, almost crying every time someone orders a shot of Jager from the bar because you have to write down his name on your order pad, the whole time holding out hope that any minute he will dial your number, put his finger on your chest and pick YOU.

You stop having sex with the hippie, because you feel as if you’re cheating on Jager. You stop calling the hippie, because you cant stand the way his voice sounds. Eventually you tell the hippie you have to take a break, and you think that this is it, that any day Jager will make up his mind. You pray to god. You promise to go to Synagogue, to celebrate every fucking high holiday. You promise to fast and keep kosher if Jager will be yours. You swear on every dead relative you love that if Jager can be yours, you will change your life. Never once does Jager dial your phone number, never once do you hear his voice.

Eventually you find a photo album on the internet with Jager’s first and last name, after crazily googling him him on the internet. The profile on Flickr says: “30, San Francisco, Taken”. It is filled with recently updated photos of Jager and a small blonde woman with huge tits in a tropical location, standing in front of a sunset just two black shadows like two fucking douche bags, pictures of their feet in smooth white sand, a picture of the girl in a crisp white bikini drinking a fucking frozen drink with an umbrella in it.

He never replies to your e-mail, not even to say he doesn’t feel the same. You never see the hippie again and you never go back to synagogue or learn how to keep kosher. You do quit your shitty waitress job and move back to the city and it isn’t as great or as glamorous as it used to be, it is just the same place at a different time.

You go back to school and you start to think that what you are doing is way better than trips to tropical locations and living in San Francisco, except sometimes you realize you never fuck anyone the way that you fucked Jager. You never find the answer to any of your problems at the end of an orgasm and you can never, for the life of you figure out if that’s a good thing or not.

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Uncharted

I am wishes spent and birthday candles ruined, the last note gone sour at the end of the big parade. I'm all those little things that creep in at night and whisper "are you still there?"  Pounding and blistering, these tiny questions are still frayed like the edges of a soaked bathroom carpet. I'd beg for more but it seems I do nothing but stand in heavy water these days. Bathtubs are merely sunken canyons where we sit and wait, waiting on bigger promises that barrel down like the violent shatter of ungodly tidal waves. I hope some day the waves just pick me up and swallow me in. I want to know where the ocean sleeps and beats quietly under the scattered gaze of a billion diamond eyes.

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The Purple House

Love

Eros came out of heaven,

dressed in a purple cape

—Sappho

 

My house drives like a big purple Valiant with the suspension of a kids’ jumping castle. Floating is not an issue. We go many miles but move not an inch. I am sitting at my desk, typing. Deanna sits on the couch behind me, facing the other way, listening to music. The child in her belly is mine; this is supposedly a fact. But I'm in no way certain that it is. It’s not an issue of infidelity. No. It’s just a novel event, defying assimilation.

     There is no way to broach this appropriately... 

     …Even if I wanted to, which I don’t…

     The house seems to hit a few potholes. The ride is still pretty smooth and easy to take in. The walls are beige. The curtains are a different shade of beige. We've not hung much from the walls as yet, but there is one painting that sits directly in front of my desk. It's an abstract, and it conjures, for me, what the sight of a torn mind might look like, like a skull busted or shot open—blasted, blood-mottled black hair and splattered brain, lashes of dark universe and a spot of brilliant light, like the victim was killed at the very moment of conceiving the thought which might’ve saved the world. Dashed by unfortunate timing.

      Typical.

      'I'm going to the corner shop, do you want anything?' Deanna asks, suddenly appearing by my side and bumping her pregnant belly into me. I look up, she's smiling angelically, on the precipice of a laugh; the half-eclipsed ceiling light haloing her beautiful face. Thoughts and a feeling of bravado toward saving the world come to me, now, then rush away again in an instant, into the purple mood of the house.

      Typical.

      ‘No, I’m fine,’ I say. She leans in to kiss me. The house suddenly hits freeway. We are driving on clouds suspended on packets of air. I’m spinning my marshmallow wheels, accelerating. 

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Night

There's something beautiful in the way she sleeps. Her eyes are tender, rimmed with fanned lashes that speak of tiny secrets kept safe behind closed lids. I'll never tell, but honestly I'd like to pry them apart and delve into the world in which she dreams. You'd call me a thief, but I swear I just want to walk upon her cerebral path, and tread affectionately into the gardens of her mind. It's there I've smelled the lush of wild roses and admired the way the wind blows when it's caught in the fire of her hair. It was in tired arms that I watched her breathe beneath the eyes of the moon. Every breath she made was a small tune playing against the hollow of my ribs. If you listen, you'll hear that even in the quiet she composes an orchestra between her lips. This is how I know, where I learn, what it means to lose it all - to give it all. It's only in the bare bones of the night that she rests her eyes, and unknowingly she cradles every hope and forsaken dream I've ever made. She's casting wishing stone upon wishing stone and my abdomen curls. It's nights like these where I am on bend and knee at her side and she'll never know as I count the spaces between her sighs. I am just a man caught in a moment and there's no place else I'd rather be. I am just a lost voyager, sailing across the outstretched forests of her uncharted dreams.

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Packet loss

Touch my shoulders or stroke my hair — if just to let me know that you are real.

My world has dissolved into an endless stream of data that flickers in and out of existence when the wireless network congests. Everything is binary: every friend, every conversation. Human interaction has been replaced by the assumption that the bits making up my life will not switch off to be another null byte, barely readable in memory. My world disappears when the power goes out, and running barefoot through a thunderstorm loses its value when you have no one to tell.

I have always walked the bleeding edge — the callouses on the soles of my feet dulling all but the deepest cuts — but packet loss is much more disturbing when broken transfers leave behind a life in tatters. Entrenched in ephemeral relationships and tangled in wires that do not exist, I realise that absence from this world would be noted most by those who cannot be sure if I existed at all.

Touch my shoulders or stroke my hair — if just to let me know that you are real. But I do not hold my breath, I would have turned blue long since.

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beginning again

improvement within our lives
is something that we strive
to accomplish daily.

at least,
that should be our goal
when we awaken from
our daily slumber
and work through another day.

so that is why i am here...
staining my fingertips
with ink that will not wash off easily;
seeking advice,
wisdom and knowledge
from those who are already
accomplishing more in their writing.

give me your honesty
your criticism
and your truths
for without those vital factors
i will never grow.

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Fallen

I am terrified to know of what lies on the other side. My heart curls and recoils in the pauses between unanswered questions. These defiled images, they flash behind my tired eyes and all I can see is an unexplained reel of film playing in forward motion. Where did the time go? My life seems to have fallen in an upheaval of side stepping speed, and some days I just cannot keep up. I'm out of breath. I just want to peel back this skin and start anew, but every time I do I find there are holes rotting in the marrow of my bones. Doubts eat away at this heavy heart, and I have to wonder how much of my body is really acidic. With all these inquires, each day just passes as it goes and my heart gets a little greener. Envy spits tiny implications behind a fragile skull and I'm fighting back behind the bars, darling I swear. I just can't count backwards for every minute his finger slid in places like guarded whispers so delicate to touch. They aren't really. These scenes are nothing more than the violent gnashing of discoloured teeth, ripping back and forth. I'm silently scathed, stretched from seam to seam trying to hold this shredded mast together. All the church bells are broken in my throat. My house of worship has fallen and all my faith scattered on the floor. What more could a man do or be, other than humble and defeated pleading at his knees, asking why now and what more?