Scheherazade (Richard Siken)
Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we’ll never get used to it.
7:46 pm 1 note
I’ve been reading two books about junkies and my teeth are always set on edge. I’ve been thinking about autumn colors; cinnamon, rust, tangerine. I’ve been writing schedules to give some semblance of structure but mostly I feel like unsticking. It seems the threads that hold me together fray more easily these days and I don’t know how to say that without sounding melodramatic. The other week, at the tram stop, a man with a hoarse voice and reflective sunglasses offered jarring compliments and shuffled too close to me. When I reached for my drink bottle he thought I was gathering my things to leave and said defensively, “You don’t have to move, I’m not one of those - ” and trailed off. It was 30 degrees but I’m not sure he believed me when I explained I was just getting a drink. He went on to tell me how he’d just got out of jail, where he had been “sorting things out” after his wife and daughter were killed. I didn’t know which parts of his story to find truth in but I guess once you’re in there it doesn’t matter so much whether you’re guilty or not. The sun was high in the sky and I was wearing brighter colors than usual but still I couldn’t keep from feeling sour. Life can be incredibly unfair to some and I felt thickheaded and undeserving for being so shielded.
I deleted five pages of writing because the words were gathering dust, because I could. I’m obsessed with new beginnings, cycles, seasons - the illusion of control that comes with dividing time up into bite sized pieces. These are the last warm days of summer, the windows stay open late into the night and the cool breeze is still and sobering. Things feel stranger than usual, difficult for small reasons. I kept my first entry from June four years ago, because it was the first. A tiny commitment to words, an acknowledgement of what Didion calls the compulsive impulse to write things down, ‘inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself’
— Anaïs Nin
I have bruises I don’t remember getting, my muscles hurt from sleeping strangely and making love and falling over. I have beetroot stains on the palms of my hands and cuts on my knees. A watch tan, chipped nailpolish and split ends. It is summer all over again.
— Kurt Vonnegut
We’re growing up in between breaths and it’s still the smallest things that carry the most weight, that glow the brightest. It’s the outstretched fingers, the hesitations, the negative space between bodies. Today my heart swells quietly for silly, shallow reasons. Today I measure how little I’ve slept by the dampness of my hair and I just need to remember this - how I’m giving myself permission to feel again.