Letter to the ghost of you
I don’t mean to start off on the wrong foot, but mentioning your name, forming you like a tangible person who I can send a letter to that will be read, would be besides the point of writing you this letter. I hope you understand. I know you do; as engraved in my mind as you are.
I guess I’d like to tell you, even though you don’t care to listen, that I’m doing better now. Not as good as I’d like, but better than I was when I sunk deep into my couch every night either because of the weight of your chest pressed into mine when we were not fucking on the couch, or because of the vacuum you left when you turned away afterwards, leaving me to watch your back disappearing over and over again into the bright night light in the hallway.
Did I already mention that, since you disappeared, this guy showed up who’s quite different from you, although he has the same magnetic look in his eyes and the curve of his right ear bends just like yours. He smells different. Like coconut oil and laurel, less salty. He calls me when he says he will, can you believe that? I couldn’t. Until he did. And then, still, I didn’t. I expect time to pass without him giving me any sign of life. Any solace. Any gesture of care. Like you. And my brother. And my father. And my grandfather, who I never really knew. Like my father. And my brother. And like you.
He took me to his favorite Chinese restaurant last Friday evening. Asked me why it’s hard for me to trust him. For half a second, I thought about lying, pretending it’s not hard for me at all. He noticed. I flinched. My body started shaking from the waist up to my hands. I dropped my beer. He said it was okay. It was okay. It was okay. I told him about you. And my brother. And my father. And my grandfather, who I never really knew. He nodded. Listened. Understood. Or at least it looked like it. I hope you never meet.
Afterwards, in bed, I laid my head on his shoulder while picturing Kandinsky’s Composition VIII, writing it’s lines and shapes on his bare belly with my right index finger. My hair fanned out on his chest. It still smelled like beer. It was okay. It was okay.
It’s funny how your fading face reappears whenever I wake up to the physicality of his being. Unbrushed teeth. Nails half covered with chipped black polish. Puffy bags under eyes that have seen 42 years of this world gone by. Then, especially then, my oceanic heart visits the remnants of our pirate ship again, swaying on waves of doubt and confusion, wrecking my wood in a world of in-betweenness, full of endless impossibilities. And of never being-shoreness. Not having to face the ache of mourning what is lost, because it was never found to begin with.
If the ghost of you reappears above the horizon, floating towards me with inimitable uncertainty, I let myself become heavy, flood my being with water. Until my belly overflows. I stay under water for as long as I can hold my breath. Until darkness sets in, starting to blur my vision from the outside in, instead of the other way around.
I grasp for air. Memories (or visions?) of myself resurface. Searching, scanning, trying to feel my way to your pulse. Meanwhile, you wrap me in a gritty blanket made of a thousand different, but ultimately the same, comments on theoretical physics, and sew them all together with kisses on my forehead and pats on the back of my head. I feel my body disappearing with every abstraction you throw at me. Every sentence formed between your lips feels like two hammerings chisels taking turns, rhythmically hollowing out my sense of self like you’re excavating a cave inside my bones.
You dig and dig and dig until it tires you out, eventually, and you stop without taking notice. The only possible position to hold now is flat with our backs on the floor. We lie-down next to each other, not holding hands like normal people would do. We lie still, lifeless, like new shoes in a box divided by milky white paper, never to touch, only to see, never to feel if the other is real. Oh how I miss not having you near.
Strip, strip, strip away
the iron that surrounds me
Stop time from moving backwards
All the images I see
Thoughts spinning through my tired mind
trying to protect me
trying to neglect me
Men men men
Food food food
Men men food
Smoke rip pop
Rip men food
pop rip slap
Food rip men
slap pop smoke
trying to sedate me
and keep the pain that’s locked away inside my frozen flesh
It’s been hiding, hiding, hiding there, for no one to be traced
oh where do you think you can find me,
Who’s hiding there, who’s inside of here?
Who’s trying hard to seek me?
Breathe breathe breathe
Weep weep weep
Breathe breathe weep
Move write talk
Write breathe weep
Talk write draw
Weep write breathe
Draw talk move
trying to release me
from the pain that’s stored away,
The wave that washes through me
will take away the sour taste, the images that haunt me
Who’s born up there, brought up in here, locked inside the iron tower,
trying to distract me
Who’s searching here, who’s climbing up
the golden stair, still trying yet to seek me
Oh I, I ,I,
yes I am here
Alive enough to find me
I found a woman
I found a woman in my sandbanks this morning
Her hair tangled up in the sunken bow
of a ship that’s been resting on the bottom of
my bottomless depths
and been slowly caving in on itself for a
long, long while now
I had to take her,
before the pirates and their merciless ways would find her, again,
and tempt her to forget the unspoken truths between the flesh of my waves,
boundless flesh, boundless waves, before they tempt her again and again until
she gets tired and gives in to replenishing the lost souls of these haunted ghosts of
desperately dried out men dressed up as captains, penetrating her flesh with their ungiving hands,
taking the pulsating thrust of her lifegiving womb and presenting it, again, as their own.
I found a woman in my sandbanks this morning
Better not wake her
I won’t have them take her
Rest, rest rest on my swaying waves as I
swirl through your slowly but surely awakening veins
and whisper to you
That this is only just the excruciatingly painful beginning
of a new path of being
of you seeing your light
as brightly as I do
every time you’re alive
But for now,
Be patient, more patient then ever before
You can take it, can bear it
The pain, once more
I’ll kiss you awake when it is time to reenter, redeem, for you to remember
the wholeness of you once again
You’ll stand tall
and walk the face of the earth
A pond of meltwater
I blinked my eyes, three times, for the very first time
It had been thirty six years since I saw this world
Alive, after a couple of minutes I could manage to turn my head and saw nothing but screens, covered in impermeable foil, I guess to protect the frozen viewers’ eyes
Truth is hard to take without the armor of ice surrounding your flesh, in a body that lacks connective tissue
A body that was absent on the day Great Mothers’ embrace was supposed to lay its fleshy foundation and kiss its soul awake
I have had such a body
I have felt such an absence, freezing up the insides of my empty veins, leaving no sign of usage, no traces of blood, nothing but hollowed out space
I tried to cover it up with hashish and cake, with the radiant sweat from mens’ limbs grabbing my waist, with worshiping disembodied spirit, like He taught me so well how to do
After years and years of working away the days, trying to chip away my armor of ice with an iceprick the size of a grass blade in November
She showed me another way
Unpaved but mine to take, leading me through the darkening heat, melting the ice with Her burning torch in my steady but trembeling hand until drops of locked wisdom started melting out of my thawing matter
Oh how a drop drip drip dripped all the way down, running its thickening substance across my face, to my tongue and my belly, my lips and my toes, my cheeks and my tighs, my knees and my neck, my back and my hands to the tips of my elegant fingers
A pond of meltwater spontaneously sprung from my feet
Mine to drink from, to wash at, to play with and swim through, to float around in and explore the depths of
It is a pond to discover the reality of what a life of my own will be like: a justness of being, alive.
I have been your sponge where I should have been your mirror
I have let my tears roll down the slippery
surface of what used to be
my soft and warm and fluffy, expansive, absorbent insides.
I let them drop on the grainy desert beneath your swollen feet,
where they watered the cracks
of your dried-out land. An oasis sprouted
there were you buried the map to your soul
built on the feelings of the overflowing river
pouring out of my fingertips, softly painting
the bright colours of my imagination onto your
aching skin, I heard the call of a cellular
begging for the lightness of being,
the almost silenced call to become the electricity that
connects the heavens and earth, once again.
I was your sponge where I should have been your mirror
I gave you the pain that should have been mine
to transform into pettals of love for the way my body is
saving my life.
I am now back in my forest, my jungle, my overflowing stream.
Here, I became
Beneath the surface of the water, there where the tension starts to break,
I heard the whispers of the oisters, working and working and working
away the days,
gritting pearls without complaining
and they sang to me from beneath:
You are a sponge on the inside, a mirror on the outside
you are a sponge on the inside, a mirror on the outside
You are a sponge on the inside, a mirror on the outside
They sang to me from beneath until it reached
the flesh of my being, the forest that awaited me
they sang and sang until I believed again
I am a sponge on the inside, a mirror on the outside
To water the plants
She dropped to her knees right before me
Face in the palms of her hands
Her dress fanned out all around her, like the way the river once overflowed the plains
Her curly black hair framed her face like a
sleeping lion’s mane. I can only imagine
her grace when her face is not burried
in the droughtness of season
The land surrounding her waist and my feet was
too sandy, too dry and too poor to be able to
secure the new seeds of our life
She screamed, hoping it’s force would take
away the pain of our reality, stuck in our
drying of land
Her scream entered my skin, forced it’s way
through my bones and flesh and nerves and what
more that I don’t understand or can bear to name
There, in the darkness of belly, it found
the germs of words that can bring forth the life
that is lying before us
And I told her
I opened my mouth, dropped to my knees right
beside her and told her:
Find the water on the bottom of the well, it’s
there under the flesh of your tongue
Voice your truth until all language disappears
Let it take you and cry cry cry cry cry cry
cry until you make it smell
like the first day of rain in May
Cry cry cry until the river overflows and
washes away all the words that were once
It’s time my love
It’s time to water the plants with your
It’s time to bring back the salt
to the earth
Come, sit, take a seat at our small diner table,
it is floating up there, you see,
near that golden rayed cloud.
So how did you happen to find us so quickly?
Did you smell the scent of rose pettle fractions,
rushing themselves through our veins?
Or did you maybe hear our cries gone crisp
through the drying of the air?
You know what, it doesn’t matter
’cause look at you here now with us
sharing food from plates that belonged to our
drinking from cups filled to the brim
with bedtime stories that our fathers never
read right through to the end
We never found out what happened to the
sleeping princess, all alone in her house
Did she wake up? Was she saved?
Or did she sleep for eternity,
in her soft linnen dress?
So, would you be so kind to tell us your secrets?
Would you maybe like some extra tea?
Yes, we’ll come sit down on your lap,
won’t mind the sharpness of your beautiful claws
Sure, you can brush our entangled hair
as long as you promise, really promise,
to tell us how our stories will end.