Saturday, January 5, 2008

the act of breaking


what supersedes
the act of breaking?
can you add insult?

glass knocked to the floor
tinkles into pieces that still fit
with glue. it does not alter the fact
that what you have left is
a facsimile.

you tell me
you are broken

and now i'm wondering if this can really harm me
i mean, you make me cry, but
i’ve been broken by better than you

say that glass was a window
if a window is broken
can thrashing the pieces to glittering dust
alter the effect of its breaking?
you can stomp the shards into a puddle and spit
in the residue
after glass is no longer
a window
it does not matter next
how it is split in two.


all last night i dreamed of her, as
i am sure you also dreamed

waking up every hour, or less, to
stare at the clock and wait
for night to be over.
you want me to hold you, but
you won’t hold me

and i have her face inside
my head, the girl you really
think could be “something,”
despite the fact that less than
a months’ worth of knowledge lives
between you.

and what
am i? you tell me
i am wanted i
am loved i am amazing i will find

am i so wanted, then, after all?

i refrain from the act of breaking
holding myself upright in a steely grasp
grinding fragments into something
that melds.
i have fantasies of acting
as broken as you claim to be

but i’m applying the pressure until i stop
feeling anything at all, although
my body
bears the brunt
of my refusal.
this morning, brushing
my teeth
i vomited into the sink
nothing but blood came up
and i watched it swirl down
the drain, thinking
this is not reality.

this is not a life.


“i love you,” you say, dick-deep
inside of me
break-up sex,
you’re calling it, as if there
could be such a thing at the
end of a relationship you

never acknowledged.

i know
your heart
is tied in knots, but you don’t
understand what i see
the lies you keep telling me,

or why i am
holding on.
and i lie
three thousand miles away now,
alone in a strange bed
unknown situations you are
or aren’t going through,
at the sound of the heater
on and off
hurling what little i eat
and drinking wine i have no taste for.
you keep telling me i lose nothing
and perhaps
i lose nothing but you

but in the month you’ve been unable
to leave my bed, i have come
to understand the complications
of love.
lie all you want.

your body is still
next to me.


so abrupt
one day consoling, the next anger
touching your voice, barely restrained

it does not matter
whether you’ve had her in your bed,
i felt you draw away

i will not need to ask.

that morning i awoke from a
noting the incredible
ill-timing of dreaming true.
if it’s
all the same to you,
stop trying to console me
it is only appeasing you
and your slow letting-go.
will not be comforted,
i do not want to,
will not
hide this from you

what a kindness
that would be, were i
to give it.


it’s the tenuous peace we’ve erected that
i’m scared of shattering
not just of arguing or
the [almost] accepted worst-case

i’m more afraid of better
a little something unexpected

and i don’t have the resources
to bear another change, the violent flipping
of the hourglass back
& forth, before the
sand can go from one
to the other.
my body’s
wound tight and twitching
awake into the night,
towards morning, and plane engines and uncertain reunions
at variable times
i am weary of watching my hands tremble
on my novel page

see, i’ve got this infinitesimal thing
clasped delicately
under my ribs and although
i told it to die, it turned to me and said
“Fuck you, Bitch”

it is this very last reserve of myself
i am bone-weary afraid
of breaking


talking about your disjointed
painting, you said

“i feel this is like
the last month of my life – pieces
look pretty but the whole is
chaotic. yet
i must paint it how
it must be.”

i say to you – here’s what this month’s
been like
for me: angry

red and rent flesh on my arms
bisecting the clean lines
of parallel, occasionally weeping

and when they finally scab, i
take my fingernails
and time and time again
scratch the layers away

until they toughen
into tissue that will not alter

no matter how i worry them. they build
armor and remain
scarlet in their anger screaming,

“no, you cannot
touch me. i am impervious
to you.”

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