I’m going to be that girl.
I’m going to be that girl that you wonder about. The one you think about when you go to sleep at night and tuck the covers in under your lonely chin. When you take her bra off, you’ll wish it was mine. You’ll pass someone on the street wearing a coat like I used to have and you’ll turn to see where I’ve gone. You’ll miss my knees. My hair, my eyes, my smell.
I’ll be a thorn in your side, till you die.
There won’t be a day that goes by that you won’t think of me. You won’t be able to walk past a restaurant without looking in the window to see if I’m there. When you go to a movie, and the lights darken, you’ll turn around to see if my face is illuminated in the crowd. You’ll wake up in the morning and make her eggs the way I’d want them. You’ll drink your whiskey neat because that’s the way I like it.
I’ll be a thorn in your side, for always.
Somewhere deep in your heart, a sharp line cuts a divide between two ventricles. Just as much as this reddened muscle beats to survive, it also throbs to live. To breathe deeply and want for everything.
Your ventricle. His atrium. Aortic tricuspid. Pulmonary pulsing. A superior vena cava and a mitral valve, rolled up in bed together on a rainy Sunday. Your papillary muscle. My coronary orifice. Tangled in the linens.
Beating. Throbbing. Pulsing. Pumping. You inhale and you exhale, but it isn’t always so simple as that.
Love in, love out. What could be hotter than a heart?
The train horn whistles at 2:33 a.m. on a Saturday morning. The sound is delightful, and I don’t mind waking to it. But you stir, rolling one way and then the next before pulling the covers over your ear and groaning, softly. I smile quietly at the ceiling and watch while the curtains rumble, a soft tremor through linen as the cars roll past. If I try real hard I can hear the clanging of the blinking road barrier.
Don’t cross now, traveler. Don’t cross now.
It was just the other night when you and I tromped by your old place. Snow driving down before the yellow street lamps, and hands warm within our mittens.
A few beers at the local watering hole was more than enough to remember how good it used to feel when we could just stumble down the block and collapse into bed.
Gauzy curtains hid the light of a new family going about their new lives on the third floor. I bent down to scrape the sidewalk for pebbles you could toss up at those windows. Just a few little rocks to fling at your past.
We admired the memories that swirled around that building. The ivy that shrouded the front door. You shouted a love poem towards those dusty red bricks. Towards the place you used to call home.
You sloshed out into the lake on a late September night, tongue thick with bourbon, head light with joy. Wearing a dress that barely skimmed your thighs, you waded out to meet the rolling waves of fresh Michigan lake water, ear buds embedded next to your drums, putting happy, feely pulses into your brain. Sand pulls and lowers beneath your feet. There is nothing you can’t do right now.
The water is warm, the moon is high, and you are craz-y.
You bathe in that water, pure Michigan water, ’till everything below your waist is just. soaked.
You clamber up on a rock and watch the tide. The moon pulling on the shimmering, rolling waves. Soundtrack to your life, serenading the end of the summer. No one sees you. No one on Earth knows where you are right now. This is an immeasurable freedom. You can sink down into that dark water, baby, and never come up. Or you can flick a cigarette and ash into the night, burning free. Tough summer feet slide up and down the rock, sand-burned callouses cooling on a mossy plane.
The earth is full of people, dear. And this moment is just for you.
There was no glittering countdown in the place where we turned over another year. All the shine and sparkle was miles away from here. Cold and dark, nothing but a breeze across the sand to measure the time. Lightly fallen dust skimmed over our lips and clouded the champagne.
I reached out for those bubbling plastic goblets like they were glimmering mirages on some despondent desert. And I needed to get to them quickly, before they shimmered away. With luck they remained, and tipped real as ever down my throat and comfortably into my brain.
A liquid nail in the coffin. The dull thud of another heavy heart.