you can buy a newspaper called usa today but i want usa tomorrow. usa in five hundred years from today. usa five hundred years ago. today is a planet that takes fifteen thousand years to orbit its sun. and then some.
i need a cigarette break. (you don’t even smoke cigarettes, stupid) okay, coffee break. stick my head into a blender break. get on a metro bus and soak my shoes in urban gutter blood rain cigarette butts break.
usa today is a thousand kids puking their guts out to the sound of their own memory. a thousand kids eating themselves alive to the beat of some pop song princess belting. a thousand kids. and then some.
i want to live on a planet that takes a day to orbit before the star explodes.
in one moment her body became a body. for years she lived as a cloud, the mind of a thing but never quite the thing. she was the idea of someone you could walk right through without noticing the whiteness of her skin. she rolled over the hillsides and never knew of her outline, her silhouette, her shadows on the pale blue houses and wet pavement. but in one moment she gained bones, then muscle, then fat, clinging to her new stomach and her new legs and her new hips, then the skin keeping all of this newness in. once a cloud, now a thunderstorm. weeping above the ocean’s mirror in south carolina, burning down a house in northeastern georgia, dissolving into blueness in tennessee. when she grabs at her thighs, when she cries with her hands over her stomach, when she cradles her fat and bones in gunshot hands, i slap her hands away. i fold them back into clouds i saw in alabama summer. she folds me into hillsides, and they reappear and begin their grabbing, their shaking, their tearing.
my hands will keep folding back into clouds and back into hands forever. this river inside of me sinks into an ocean greater than the shadow on your face.
“You were last seen walking through a field of pianos. No. A museum of mouths. In the kitchen of a bustling restaurant, cracking eggs and releasing doves. No. Eating glow worms and waltzing past my bedroom. Last seen riding the subway, literally, straddling its metal back, clutching electrical cables as reins. You were wearing a dress made out of envelopes and stamps, this was how you travelled. I was the mannequin in the storefront window you could have sworn moved. The library card in the book you were reading until that dog trotted up and licked your face. The cookie with two fortunes. The one jamming herself through the paper shredder, afraid to talk to you. The beggar. Hat outstretched bumming for more minutes. The phone number on the bathroom stall with no agenda other than a good time. The good time is a picnic on water, or a movie theatre that only plays your childhood home videos and no one hushes when you talk through them. When you play my videos I throw milk duds at the screen during the scenes I watch myself letting you go — lost to the other side of an elevator — your face switching to someone else’s with the swish of a geisha’s fan. My father could have been a travelling salesman. I could have been born on any doorstep. There are 2,469,501 cities in this world, and a lot of doorsteps. Meet me on the boardwalk. I’ll be sure to wear my eyes. Do not forget your face. I could never.”—“new york craigslist > personals > missed connections,” (via honeysucklefairy)
they laid out her body across the country one morning. nailed her hands down in seattle, her legs in cincinnati, her waist tied town somewhere in the midwest. they clambered over her road signs and bridges like a jungle gym. slipped under the folds of her body like a circus tent swam through her roads veins bones heading north south east west until they found themselves in either ocean, the gulf of mexico.
she said nothing that morning and nothing that night as their hands swept over her shoved their body parts into her devoured her interstates and highways and countryside real estate. they fucked her a thousand times over and she became pregnant with an empty room, gave birth to silence, still didn’t say anything. didn’t blink as she stared at the salt lake city sky.
even all the skylines of the world do not give a reply to the millions of people who enter their view.
“Boys are told from a young age that whatever they do will be excused under the “boys will be boys” mantra, and that “boys will be boys” mentality leads to what I call the “boiling frog” problem of women’s sexual boundaries. I call it that because if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out, but if you put a frog into a pot of room-temperature water and slowly heat it to a boil, the frog will acclimate as it heats and never jump out, eventually boiling to death. Similarly, when we learn as young girls to tolerate “low-level” boundary violations like the ones we often are forced to suffer in silence at school, at home and on the street – bra-snapping, boob-grabbing, ass pinching, catcalling, dick flashing “all in good fun” relentless violations that adults and authorities routinely ignore – it makes it harder for us to notice when even greater boundaries are being violated, eventually leading to the reality that many women who are raped just freeze and fall silent, because that’s what they’ve been taught to do over and over since day one. You tell me what’s more infantilizing: repeatedly letting boys (and grown men) off the hook for their behavior because “boys will be boys” and we can’t ever expect any differently, or creating a consent standard in which all partners take active responsibility for their partner’s safety, and which acknowledges the truly diseased sexual culture we’re soaking in every day.”—Source (via modellesbians)
i watched her bones turn indigo turn crimson. tell me i’m crazy. don’t. i know i am, curled up next to her (watch her, watch her turn pale blue green) with my hands empty and yet full of her hands. her hands turning into a river i once crossed in early summer. the current whirling around my waist, my legs fighting the cold invisible push and pull of directions. directions, the invisible force that chooses which way a river goes and where and how far you’ll run until you collapse and sink into the earth’s mouth. directions has told her to run east for five miles. i’m not crazy. i am on the edge of understanding the whiteness of her eyes. the brown i remember as blue. the fingernails i’ll remember as jewels. crazy is a word people use in front of love, in front of a name, or they’ll say it bare. baby you’re crazy, you’re fucking crazy, am i crazy? yes she’s crazy, gone mad like a moon finding out the light on her skin was never hers, never something she created but something she reflected, finding out that while she thought herself a sun, she was only a mirror.
i am a mirror facing toward her. or is she the mirror. or are we both mirrors bouncing back endless light and images that will lose themselves in the silence of her not breathing.
i watched her breathe and cry over the very fact her lungs had swelled and emptied, swelled and emptied. i watched her turn every color that has and has not existed. i watched her dissolve and condense into baby blue water droplets on a window in late june. i watched her find out her light was projected onto her by the imagination of others, i watched her see herself as moon instead of sun for the very first time. i watched the light become an attic. for years and years i watched myself. i watched myself become the mississippi river on that early summer day swallowing up my body whole, into the invisibility of her current and into the invisibility of her directions. i watched myself become light and navy blue darkness again.
both her and i, we make terribly beautiful mirrors. we reflect bended and horrific and honest light.
we will spend our whole lives waiting for one of us to rise and the other to land. for now we run on the same flatness. the distance has become languages i have forgotten how to speak. this is why i flew. very very far away from you. from the airplane i watched you become a shadow. i watched the silver blue of river shiver across the tar black of indigo of earth. the mouth of the sun become a crescent become orange lake sinking into the finite line of horizon. the violet watercolors of clouds slip into the night. into the night the ornaments of light flickering and blinking like girl eyes around lover eyes.
i can speak the language of newness. newness is this whole new vocabulary filled with absences of you. oldness is you words and you grammar and you definitions. the shadow of each word in newness is the blackness of your silhouette. airplane in newness is like hello or goodbye. the most important word. it means watching the importance of your life shrink into geometry underneath the devouring blues and blacks and reds of sunsets. leaving people empty handed in airports. pulling distance out of your suitcase to wear it to dinner. from an airplane the whole world becomes so unbelievably forgettable. so unbelievably insignificant.
i do not know anymore if you are plane and i am shrunken suburbia. or if we rode that airplane together. or if all along i was the one watching you become some lost river on the face of an indigo earth.
I haven’t seen you in ages, but I can feel your wiry body next to mine. How the lights would come into your window and illuminate the discarded coffee mugs, the piles of clothes (yours or mine, who ever knew), my books and your paper. The pillow we shared, and the sheets we would kick off or sometimes tuck underneath our feet. There was one lamp in your room, but the walls were always dim, just enough to see the pencil sketches you had added to your walls, girls in sunglasses with cigarettes, and the childhood scribbles carved into the ceiling. A name here, a doodle there. How the moonlight drowned the whole darkness of our room, our room, I call it, I stayed with you so many times. So many times. How we turned over onto our stomachs and listened to radio stations in Japan while the rain poured on and on outside. How you asked me if I ever wondered what was going on on the other side of the world. How we listened to weather reports, music, the news being aired in Russia, Germany, Mexico. We drank so much coffee and read books and drew pictures, you once drew me in red ink on a bus headed toward Chicago, but I never got the chance to draw you, oh girl, oh you with brown curls and wide eyes that everyone said looked just like mine.
The time between me and who we used to be feels like a thousand miles. Like the length of an arm stretching toward something that no longer exists. Like the plane ride to Germany and back. And it feels like a lake we dived into some late October in northern Minnesota. This crushing and inescapable coldness we ourselves rushed into. I think my problem is, Greta, that I’m never honest anymore. I can’t get myself to write about all the things I miss. Like your pick up truck. Or crying in your room as I folded our clothes, drawing in the basement studio at 5 am, the way snow falls when you hold hands with someone you love. How I told you how I had fallen in love with a boy in Georgia, and how you were happy for me. Do you still hurt in the same ways you used to? I still hurt in a lot of same ways, but new ways, too.
In a grocery aisle we once discussed the meaning of life, and underneath laughter we had come to the conclusion that everything boiled down to sex. Everything in this world revolved around fucking, and we laughed so hard as we sorted through what we wanted to eat, and Katherine, what would you like to drink? But maybe it isn’t anymore. Sometimes it feels like life is lying in bed and thinking about the people you miss and the people you have. Feeling how empty your hands are as you sink into a mattress alone. Remembering a person you might as well have called sister and knowing the forged blood ties are gone. From family to a stranger who lives in the same city. I am afraid to death I will walk by you one day, I always go to the places we used to go. What will I say? I don’t know if I could even ask you how you are. If I would keep walking. If I would cry as I told you that I can’t help but remember how your room smelled on those rainy days, and how I miss the classical music that always poured in from every speaker in your house. I would hold your hands and tell you life isn’t about fucking, and sometimes it isn’t about missing. Life is an ocean I have been trying to swim across for years and years. Look at the color the sky turns just before it sets. That is the color of this ocean. This life. I don’t know what it is somedays, but life is all the people you love saying your name over and over for centuries. Even if it’s just a memory, like your voice is just a memory. It’s remembering, and sometimes it’s forgetting. I don’t know what life is in the most exact words, and it will take me a thousand trips to the grocery store to figure it out. I don’t know if there is such a thing as closure when it comes to people you never truly said goodbye to, people like you, but life is looking back on your mattress, the tangled sheets, the empty chinese take out boxes and the mugs with coffee stained to the bottom, and it is taking them with me to bed. I don’t know if I can forget you. I forgive you. I simply can’t do anything more than that.