December 16, 2008
i’m lying here trying not to feel like every touch will end me. inside my skull i keep rereading my notes. i am the dispensable one. hard to do, inside my skull. hard when, just outside, your fingers are grazing my temples. i shake you off. shake my head hard and feel a hangover like whiplash. feel how hard your face throbs in there. our face that just lies on that pillow for me to stare at. your eyes like two fishbowls staring back. you can stare at the pretty fish all you like, but it’s nearly impossible to touch one. but i hunt you like a kitten. getting my paws wet. unskillfully.
i fly out of bed into a frenzy of heading for the party. your fishbowls gawking. i’m crouching helplessly over a pool of clothes, fishing out pieces of fabric that have lost their meaning. my head is swimming and i can’t tell sleeves from stockings. and i keep talking.
“i want to throw up.”
a pair of longjohns is dislodged. i teeter.
“my own pulse is about to knock me over.”
i excuse you and lie down huffing. you declare the need for a cigarette like it’s our last hope. with cold, professional resignation. like a surgeon saying ‘we’ll have to amputate.’ but you’d have to step over me to get to the balcony, and somehow you can’t bring yourself to do it. you collapse over me. i’m touched. i touch your hand. you put away the cigarette and hold me tight. a leg you’re about to lose.
i have more weapons now. and i understand about looseness. i have a happy trigger finger. loose as a goose. i’m not arthritic like i was. not any more. i have a larger range of movement in my joints. i can bend low in the knee. if there is a low bush i can duck quickly behind it. i can curl and unfurl my fingers in preparation. through my head around like a lasso. all the tough looking stretches a boxer does. i nibble now too. i’l show you a little jog-on-the-spot, a little one-two with the fists. a low swoop (the knees don’t make a peep) and a beautifully arching hook. i can kick your ass now. and, if you ever try to love me again, that’s what i’ll do.