Untitled Something no. 2
The first time you said you loved me you asked if that would scare me, and I said that I’m tougher than I look, which was the wrong answer, although it is true, and here is what I should have said: Darling, I love you like fireworks, like honestly and like cat calls, like fast cars, more sun than usual, like inhale, exhale, make my heartbeat get normal again, and darling, your lips are like an empty guest bedroom but a car in the driveway, but stop making assumptions about what that means. I love you like Independence Day, ironically enough. Me and you, we’re two racing hearts and two narcissists with four sweaty palms and twenty tired toes and you’re lovely even when you lie to me.
The night you wouldn’t kiss me I said, “Take it or leave it,” but I couldn’t walk away. You couldn’t take it, but you didn’t leave it, so I just stayed.
We are made of broken things. You are built on broken families; I am built on broken promises, and because of that, baby, I miss you in a way that makes me want to never let you hear this poem. I wish that was a secret, but I am The Cellophane Girl and The Cellophane girl wears her heart where it belongs, right behind her rib cage, but she may as well wear it on her sleeve because The Cellophane Girl has see-through skin.
They told you, they said to you, “Sink or swim, kid,” but they didn’t know you could walk on water, and you went running.
I can fly. I can tell you about it, and when you listen to me talk about flight, by listening you have taught me about standing still.
We talk about horror movies and when we do it goes like this: You are quiet and I mumble something like, “Pay attention to the way blood bleeds. You’ll learn something from that, I bet.” Neither of us knows what I mean by that. I mean nothing by that.
I ask too many questions and you whisper, “Chew your food, darling. Stop swallowing things whole,” and both of us know what you mean by that. You mean everything by that.
When I look at the Tokyo sky I whisper things across the miles to you. I whisper things like, “The poetry about this place practically writes itself,” and I’m sure that you hear me, because we are watching the same sky tonight. Everything is foreign here, and it reminds me of you, which is ironic, because I know you so well. I know the shape of you and the smell of you and the curvature of your lips and the oh-so-parallel lines of your hips, and I whisper to our sky, I whisper, “There is a city in the sky, and everything about it, all of it, everything is enormous and very small in the same moment” – you make me feel enormous and very small in the same moment – “You’d appreciate the lavender staircases and that one orange-tiled building that was skinnier than I am, especially after I got my hands on ramen houses.” I hear your laugh across the miles.
We think about art across the miles. You’re a minimalistic masterpiece. You’re something Warhol. I am The Birth of Venus, and I am Cindy Sherman. We are not the same, but we still fit inside an art museum. You tell me that’s all that really matters.
I think about God and the two titans of the twentieth century and the way I’m sure they built this city. Picasso shaped these buildings and Matisse grabbed his paints and God shoved them close together, breathing his prayer into them, breathing his prayer into us, me and you are leaping across telephone lines, gathering speed, soaring through the clouds, turning into the skyline, shattering laws of matter, laws of thermodynamics, but I was just dreaming that, which makes more sense than anything has ever made to me.
I wore the fabric of us today and suddenly you are back, you are whispering that it looks nice on me, that it suits me, and I joke, saying, “Take it or leave it,” and then we are living that midnight one more time, you are kissing me in the street, kissing me goodbye, kissing me goodnight and the salt of your tears screams just how human you are tonight.
Sometimes, I think I can hear you praying for hope across the sky, and I whisper that I hope your deity grants you that. I am not lying when I say that, but I hope I am lovely even when I lie to you. You are lovely even when you lie to me.
Please understand my poetic justice, but know that darling, these days, I see right through your poker face, and that I think you’re lovely even when you lie to me.
All my love,
All my love,