My head is full of dirty jokes and literary quotes and I’m hoping that’s enough for someone to love me. Do you think you could take me the way I am with holes in my hands, without a way to keep you here? Could you take me as I am laying on my back without a spine trying in vain to piece together new constellations. I am the dreamer being pulled in too many directions. I am coming apart at the seams. It seems I can’t last much longer.
I’d call you a crush but the weight of it might be too much for you. Sunk down into the earth, among the moles and snails isn’t where you belong. Or maybe it is, maybe you will set down roots to weather the winter so that when spring comes flowers bloom from your fingers. The bees will busy themselves trying to pollinate while being careful with their stingers. Maybe you are a vine destined to wind your way up oak trees only to pull them down so that they lay on their backs loving you while rotting away.
There comes a point where words are wasted if I tell you that you’re beautiful again. Go to the sea and when you come to where waves meet shore take a look at yourself in the wash and see what I see. If you can’t I will hide underwater and whisper it to you so that you think all this love is coming from yourself, where it should be. I am not enough. I am just a man, or a sack of flesh, or a bag of bones. I am something that won’t last. I just need you to believe everything I’ve told you, everything that will be here after I’m gone.
I knew she was a woman because of how aware she made me of my hands and how much I wanted to touch her but couldn’t until I had her permission. I knew she was a woman because she walked with both a rhythm and the wind. I knew she was a woman because she knocked me over without speaking to me and left my lying there my back on the concrete staring up at the sky waiting for it to be night so I could wish on a star to see her again. I knew she was a woman.
Shouldn’t there be a prize for those of us who survive the night? Not those people who lay content in their beds, comfortably wrapped up in comforters, dreaming that everything will be better. I am talking about those of us who stay up raging against the night, abandoned by sleep, forced to hang our wishes on shooting stars because they are our only hope. I hope to one day sleep well and greet the morning as a surprise instead of waiting for her to pull herself up over the horizon. The morning isn’t allowed to sleep late, pull the covers over her head, and say, “Ma, just a few more minutes, please.” Instead she puts on her best face to tell the restless and the rested, ” I am here, It is time to begin again.”
This is the golden time we have spun out of the sun’s rays and draped across our bodies so that we might wear out each day. I want to spend each day expiring so that I will be born again tomorrow. I’ve come to know the best mirrors are your eyes because I am the best version of myself in them. I don’t want to wait till tomorrow to become the man I’m supposed to be today. If the sun sets you might walk away and get lost in the darkness. Forgive me Brother Night but your moon mistress does not light up my nights enough. I’m begging for a better way to shine.
It is unfortunate when you get in one of those flirty moods and the people next door to you are married as are all the people downstairs. The guys that live across from you are just that guys and don’t spark your interest. You think about going out but you realize that you’ve put off all your work for this lazy Sunday that you’ve napped away half of already. It is a shame because right now your confidence is high and you feel like you wouldn’t bite your tongue in the presence of a pretty lady today. Maybe you could get her to commit to something beyond tonight and the wheels of your brain could start turning. You’d take her to your favorite used bookstore and buy her a book to read. Tell her she will find a better understanding of you between the pages than you would ever dare to be able to say.
I will not be found in the foreword, introduction, or afterword but instead I will be found somewhere in the middle of the book on an odd page not quite halfway down. There will be a quote there that wasn’t expected but you will know once you read it is me. You will say this is a man I’d like to spend time learning facts about. Does he prefer red or white wine? What’s his favorite meal? Why does have four purple shirts? Is he close with his mother? Is he close with his family? Will he stay awake just to talk to me as I fall asleep? Does he keep his eyes open while kissing? Which way does he lean when kissing? He must go right. People always go right, except he knows that so maybe he will go left and introduce something new to my life. I could use something new to my life and you will say to yourself maybe this boy with eyes like wells of amber and crooked smile that is barely more than a smirk could be for me.
The season is changing, the weather is setting in. Some are in a rush to cover their bodies, to warm themselves but not I. I am amongst those whose blood is boiling and hands are aching trying to stretch myself across empty places. I am among those who are the echoes of heart beat. I am the breath on a woman’s lips right before she is kissed. I am the goosebumps on her arms as she waits in an anticipation for me to eradicate the distance between us.
Pardon me, I was born with hands too heavy to raise my fists at every ghost that scares you. Save my number for when you’re really in danger and I’ll be there to fight. Ignore the insignificant and the infantile, a brave man has no need to fight phantoms, he just needs to fight for you.
Back when I was brave, back when I had guts, I needed my ribcage. But now that I am coward I am carving stories on each of my rib bones. I’ll place them in bottles and cast them out to see. If you find them you will know how I got to be me.
Back when I used to love I needed a heart. Now that I don’t know how I all I need is a beat. I’ll record the way my heart sounds before giving it away to some grand fool that knows how to love better than me.