a leg you’re about to lose

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.

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