43

{ Shameless }

kneeling on a dead man’s house,

clouds massed together over the tall trees,

replete with warm tears.

he left one day and never said why…

reflecting.

a smile that

expected nothing from the world,

eyes that sought not happiness,

yet somehow

managed to exude both.

subtle in tone and articulation—

i’ve always admired that quality.

mumbling under my breath.

i’m not sure you were content,

but if you weren’t,

i blame myself.

flooded by guilt

gushing forth,

pouring over the dam—

as if dying
were a shameful act.

rising abruptly from my position,

feeling sick and pensive.

you’re getting to be
an old lady, kiddo,

what are you gonna’ do?

somehow, i always manage to think of myself.

avarice and love:

the same instinct that has two names.

Photo: @marcosguinoza

Advertisements

34

you’re gone, and

you took your love with you

on your way

out the door.

you were my last cigarette,

now,

i don’t smoke anymore.

what a shame

it is to be human,

what a burden

is the heart,

love is only

beautiful,

when it’s

portrayed in art.

robbed of my vice,

with nothing

to show,

except a hole in

my chest

where your love used to be,

not long ago.

how easily tender memories

are swept up and away

like smoke, or a cloud

on a windy

winter’s day.

how quickly love is

betrayed by fearful

gluttony—

you left with my last cigarette,

not even the ashes are here

to comfort me.

[ photo: photo by Shana and Robert ParkeHarrison ]

30

{ dorian gray }

i think it a terrible curse to be a woman.

at times, when i

look in the mirror,

i imagine

i’m seeing a teary-eyed,

young girl—

robbed of her innocence,

deprived of love, and

grasping at fading beauty.

the girl always asks me:

what happened to you?

and while staring deeply into my own

tired eyes,

i’ll tell her that i paint my face

for myself,

that i wear uncomfortable clothes and shoes

for myself,

that i remove my body hair and

keep my skin soft and

smooth like a child’s

for myself,

that i’m not hungry.

and to this, she’ll ask:

why do you do it?

to be beautiful?

but i simply shake my head because

i know that youth makes her naive, and

she doesn’t understand that

the reason i behave this way is

not so obvious.

i’ll tell her that,

beauty is just a means to an end, and

the reason i do it all is

so that she can be happy.

then, i’ll tell her not to worry, that

i’ve got it all under control.

day to day, i see the same

tired eyes, that i see in my reflection, in

the faces of other women

passing on the street, and

i imagine that each of them,

while standing in front of their bathroom mirror,

stares intently into her own reflection, and tells the

eyes of her younger self that she’s happy, too—

that she’s in control, too.

i imagine, like me,

she’ll say whatever she needs to say, and

she’ll say it for years,

hoping that soon

someone will love her for

her beauty,

but, like me, she knows

somewhere in her heart that won’t happen,

that she’s not in control,

that none of her lies are true,

that beauty is the enemy of happiness, and

the enemy of love.

it is the tragedy that befalls every woman,

that by the time she realizes the truth,

it’s already too late—

her youth

is gone, her beauty

has faded,

the curse has already done its work,

and she finds herself,

standing in front of a mirror,

explaining to the eyes of her younger self

that she has everything under control.

[ photo: photo by @cecile_hoodie via @witchyfeelings_ ]

27

{ bathtub meditations }

like an object quivering on the horizon,

it lingers there—

in that empty space—

nebulous,

on the edge of consciousness.

i pull it close,

aware only briefly

that it’s the idea

of some moment

to which

i would like to return,

but cannot.

i loved you in that moment:

when i first saw you,

before you saw me.

i watched you

searching the crowd.

you weren’t looking for me,

but you found me.

looking back, there’s

something romantic about that

mingled sensuality

and despondency;

something endearing about

the way we loved each other so recklessly

that we hurt each other in the end,

when the moment passed, and

we had no choice

except to leave it behind—

and leave each other behind—

because stagnancy is more dangerous than heartbreak.

[ photo: from photographer Logan Zillmer’s ‘365 project’ ]

26

what do we wish for when we see beauty?

to be beautiful.

we think happiness must be connected with it,

but that is an error.

when i see a beautiful woman

i envy her beauty,

but i wonder:

has she been loved?

i see the answer clearly

in her perfect mask—

painted with agonizing care.

in the details of her beauty

i see the complexity of her

despair.

just another lonely creature,

a rare black mare,

surrounded by admirers—

praising her because they cannot love her.

beauty is not something to wish for.

[ photo: ‘Death Of An Image’, Andrea Galvani ]

16

{ nostalgia }

i knew you once and you loved me then.

the years went by and i changed,

but so did you.

we spoke on the phone

a few times later on,

but it was strange because

we were strangers.

some more years passed.

why do i still think about you?

not all the time, but sometimes.

it doesn’t hurt,

it’s there for a moment,

then it leaves again.

nothing,

literally nothing, about you is familiar.

you don’t even look the same.

i heard your voice again, today.

your voice gives you away.

it’s still the you i knew before,

all that time ago.

it’s the same voice you had

when i loved you and you loved me.

at least when i thought you loved me,

but maybe you never did.

or, maybe you thought you did,

but you couldn’t because

you were too fucked up.

maybe it was me that was too fucked up.

maybe you wanted to love me,

and so you sort of loved me.

you tried to love me.

and i tried to love you.

that’s something i’ll settle for.

photo: Eliza Cummings for Ponystep shot by Louie Banks @louiebanksshoots