Let us say Goodbye

Let us say goodbye then,

You and I.

Let’s walk away, and begin to forget.

The kisses, of course,

And the remembering -of firsts and quirks, a handful of dates.

Let us put behind us our secret knowledge,

And all those times you dropped a kiss on the tip of my

nose.

The first time I ever wrote a love letter, I titled it ‘This is not a love letter’

And put it in caps, to emphasize how much it was not a love letter.

Let us obliterate the memory of that;

Leave it to the impersonal web of pixels and circuitry,

And the people who will stumble upon it one slow afternoon at work.

Let us erase the last traces of

That feeling in my chest when you laugh,

And how you call me ‘bitch’ with great affection.

Let’s rub away at the kisses

Till their last vestiges are wiped off the corners of our lips.

Let us kiss strangers till their tongues take away the electric of

Your tongue on my lips

And my lips on your fingers,

And your fingers playing a riff

In the dark.

Let’s forget the time you kissed my damp eyelashes (surprising yourself),

And pulled out the sting.

The world will not cease to turn,

And nothing will have been lost.

Except- a few brief hours

Where my hand on your chest was yours.

Nothing except laughing hysterically as we plotted murder,

and talked over each other, trying to win.

Nothing but staring at pixelated smudges on screens

Till our heads ached.

Nothing except the wind on our backs as we ambled home,

A happy tangle of limbs.

So you see it would be easy.

Let’s not make a fuss now.

Let’s not ascribe this affair undue importance

So the stars did not align for us

(They don’t align for anyone, you fool.)

The gods did not send any angels our way

(We never prayed for them, you see.)

Everything fades after a while,

Even memories, even pain, even something that came very close to being

Love.

Interstice

I have hung my dreams upon the crook of your little finger. Your gnarled mutant fingers that you must make an effort to bend. I am a scientist in the making; I see beauty in ‘most everything that is you. You edit and polish sentences, chopping off pieces that stick out to create the perfect product. My hair is a mess, it will never behave and stay put in a bun- tendrils will escape and wave about. My eyes will always be smeared with kohl, or exhaustion, or too much affection. Yours display equations from time to time- things that make sense. I spilled into your life one night drenched in rain and whiskey, my head buzzing in a cloud of smoke. Sometimes I startle you so much that you cannot make sense of me, of why I say or feel certain things. We are on different planes. I know this now, yet there is no resentment like I thought there would be. I am okay with this. The sudden clarity is stunning. What I want is a chance for us to bloom. It is hard to bloom when you are this far away- I know you’re right, I know distance is an insidious creature- but I choose to brush this thought aside and cloak it in cobwebs in some dusty corner of my mind. I will not think about it, and you will not think about it, and we will get through your beginning a new life, and me beginning mine. We have no shared history, we stole a few perfect moments and then I kissed you goodbye- “for now”, as you added. How much shared history can be constructed over the phone, over the Atlantic, over an email in your inbox from me?

You ask for a rain check, and I give it gladly- I find most things you do endearing. I would give you almost anything you asked for, I think. It is a madness, but I suppose I must have something to be mad about at any given point. I have never loved someone so much, you see.

How I will cope

I will listen to Wilco. I will post emo indie music on your wall. I am trying to break your heart, like you’re breaking mine just by being yourself. A thousand little pieces all free and floating of their own accord.

I will sniff and rub my red eyes. I will lose it, and pretend not to lose it, and try not to lose it. You will put your hands in mine and kiss my wet eyelids, you will kiss the tip of my nose, and bury your face in my neck. Breathe in, deeply. I will sob miserably, quietly. More a snuffle, really.

I am trying to break your heart.

I will listen to lots of Bob Dylan. Blood on the Tracks is our favourite Dylan album. We discover that we were both listening to Tangled Up In Blue everyday around the same time, two years ago. We did not know each other then. I do not ascribe much significance to this. Fortunate coincidence, that’s  all it is.

We  will lie together quietly, your neck will be bent at an awkward angle as you try to reach my face. My body is limp because I feel like I’m floating. I’m afraid. I don’t know where we’re going from here. I am trying to break your heart.

You have stolen my music, inextricably linked- what will I listen to, to cope? Where do we go from here?

One night I’m having a panic attack and Dylan doesn’t help. I decide that it’s a good idea to listen to ‘Hey that’s no way to say goodbye’ over and over again. It isn’t. I cry quietly. In the next bed, my brother sleeps on. It feels like the first time all over again.

You complicate things, you make things simple. I am trying to break your heart.