And now the November you could not have seen in me, or me in Paris. I would not have fit in so nicely, I would not withstand the warmth. I was hiding or trapped in the burning synagogues and mosques, set alight. You cannot know when I moved.
I did not see your show.
Why do you ask? You were not looking for me all night. You basked instead and came to me a month later, in the middle of the night, so I could pick and pull and point out you still weren’t listening. You weren’t looking or listening, but I know you saw something. What did you see?
Take that, take care, sad guitar. Heavy hurricanes, heavy strums. Heavy foot traffic, every movie that never was my life.
How many notes had I written or not written or written and not sent?
I see easy, I see casual, I don’t see the work. I am fine with the conventionality and I beat myself up for choosing someone so difficult. But now I get to think about what’s next. I get to reject racking up more disappointment. I’m not so overboard.
How long did we think this is we or imagine it with someone else? How long did we think this would count? How long were the first three years, the next five weeks, the last nine months in sum in total? Come to the edge and count backward to the second and then the first, to extend it to what date as soon as possible and as long as it still matters.
Rousseau is indeed following me, in life and in death. In music and in writing. The leg shakes, the sounds are all internal, and I hear the release of pressure in my head, in my sinuses, in my flimsy observations.
It is all part of the process.
Sing it again. This time with potential. Because I have not yet had enough of your bullshit and I send a postcard from a familiar land outlining all our successes. And if there’s one thing ________ taught me, that means I told you about our failures.
Leave the door alone, let it open and close as it pleases, and it pleases me.
Perhaps that’s what the letting part of letting go is – one big presumable failure overshadowing and upstaging all the small moments of falling fast asleep at the wheel. There was more letting in than that. We slackened the line, hooked up, and sinker.
Because the body talks back, tells me all the things you used to tell me. Do you remember when you called me because you felt like you needed a hug? I need a hug. And this time it’s not just my libido doing all the work.
Expectation is a prevention measure; codeine is a prevention measure from dusk until dawns later. In between, I keep my head down, but my eyes opened. This is not Paris – I do not see you everywhere.
How many times a day does your heart drop when you think it’s me? Do you feel it when my bus passes by? Do you know when I’m standing nearby or right outside?
I have no way to see you. I have concert tickets. I’ve picked up my own postcards. You will read the postmark date. The city.
3.5 and counting. This is like a cigarette, isn’t it? I don’t see any immediacy. I can’t see harm. I can’t feel harm, at least initially. All I can do is find the coldest corners of the room.
I cannot come to you, because you will say no. I’m not strong enough to give you the power to reject me and to disappoint me again. And again. And again.
But come back to me. I will take you back again. And again. And again.
You are not around this city. And I love the way it moves in relation. Don’t you miss your chances and your choices?
Everyone’s asking we’ve got ideas. They are slow, leaky hisses and watery results.
Come back, I beg to bargain, I beg for teacher. Finally down outwardly winding roads. Finally down anthills and apologies to those other guys.
Everyone is asking for you, everyone claws at the messenger, everyone’s holsters were emptied at the door, everyone’s cocktails hiss and everyone sloshes against me.
My body is not my own.
To listen to the music.
To leave the room alone.
I keep saying my needs are none. My needs are none, as if that would be enough to re-win your favor. I keep saying I have no expectations, but you have me on bended knee, with bated breath, reaching my hand through mail slots to dig out the postcard I should not have sent.
Because I did have expectations. I was waiting. I would keep taking you back, but I won’t run back myself.
Have I said enough? Had I, I’m sorry? Were I wolf out on limbs, were I sad public tears.
I saw you enough to know I’d take care of you.
Neither center nor helm nor knit nor raggedy t-shirt.
I was never certain. Only horrible. You won every time, but the winning wasn’t grand enough and I resented you for your success. I had to test out every challenge your love imposed, but accepted neglect with open arms. Don’t misunderstand, you were the attentive lover.
But it wasn’t enough for you either, was it? Although I was too much, I was never much in the right way.