“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.”
― Brian Andreas, Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas
When you step out of the shower I immediately want to hold you. Your hair is wet, stuck to your forehead like seaweed, and I feel as if you are slowly drowning me. The blue thread of veins is woven under your skin, climbing across the tender underside of your wrists. I read so many poetry anthologies in high school, devouring them like a hungry wolf, gnawing on their bones until they were bled dry. I could do the same to you.
wound, n. & v.
There are apples in a bowl on the kitchen table. There is nothing else on the table but the apples. There is a knife on the kitchen counter, its serrated blade tilted slightly upward, as if ready for the blood. If I were to bite your lip, and hold it between my teeth, would you kiss me back, but harder?
In the human body there are millions of cells, and they multiply and divide like tiny starbursts. Sometimes, like distant orbits, they crush into one another with a sound like breaking glass. No amount of science can ever prepare you for when they do.
In bed, I grip your hips like the hull of a broken ship. We are all splintered; we are all being dragged down into the current. Even your hands: oh, your hands. I stitch your heart to my palm, so that I can take it with me everywhere. There is no thread that matches exactly the color of your blood. Your mouth covers mine with a soft pain, like the sudden jab of a needle into unsuspecting skin.
All this, and more.
Women like me do not fall gracefully,
we stumble over our spines, trip over
our vowels, and collapse into your arms.
Our hearts are open books,
Russian novels containing fifty pages
on the way your voice drifts across
the telephone wires each night.
Our hearts are first drafts,
unedited verses about each and every
person we have ever loved: the stranger
on the subway, the girl who gave us a balloon,
the boy who stole our virginity
but not our heart.
Women like me will love you from a distance
of a thousand syllables while laying in your bed,
we will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible,
and when we leave you will finally understand
why storms are named after people.