For Craig (of course)

Left wondering if it feels like hell to be the lover who comes after the fallout of the first?

I am not willing to take steps in any direction because I am yours, of course, my darling. Like your mother was as she touched your tender cheek. Like all I want is to be the source of your joy but I would settle for the one who let you go to follow it. Like your mother was as she watched from far away.

Perhaps I needed to be cornered in the role of ‘mother’ to really know what that meant. And every broken chain between the last goodbye and the first hello was something sweet but nothing true. Only mothers know the truth.

I thought I knew you then, it took a lifetime and a nightmare lived to know that you never knew me, but at the very least we each had an impression of what love should be in the face of one another.

Always seeking closure but never quite grasping the overwhelming truth that there were never doors to close the way we opened them.

And thinking about a casual sense of you makes me laugh until I’m crying bitter tears, drinking beer after beer thinking about my parents and the way that only you knew the imprint of them like a brand upon my flawless skin.

As we grow from age to age and never take the center stage for one another, we grow numb to knowing it. There aren’t words trite enough to express the way I’ll never unsay what I was too small to say when I had the chance.

It was never about the man you are, or could have been. Your eyes, your lips or the smell of skin. It was always the pain, the pain in you is like the pain in me and I wanna play it on repeat like some song someone I don’t know wrote about someone they know too well because I have no words to clear the ache.

(Ever thought of calling when you’ve had a few? Cos I always do. Maybe I’m too busy being yours to fall for somebody new. Now I’ve thought it through.)

And the time is never right, my love. Did you fit me like a glove? Or did I simply want it bad enough?

Did those moments under sweet pine romanticize the southwest light into something I could savor and covet like a gift? And did the silence break the sunset into reams of smoke like realizing that a person can never be wrapped up neat and kept?

I may never know a way to stop this record playing but there’s peace in knowing you’re okay and I guess they call that ‘closure’.

Do I dare erase you like culling a branch for new growth in the spring?
Oh darling, you know as well as I do that I can’t, so if you can, would you please say a sacred verse before you curse me to the compost bin? And all the rooting maggots there within a green can waiting at the side of the road to join the others.

We will roll amongst each other, filthy and discarded to our fate to sweat out under the beating sun. Eating one another till there’s nothing left.

Is this the crux of family love? To die under the witness of your tenderness just squirming like larvae til it flies away and latches on to anything sweet, and play it on repeat like the skin of a fuzzy peach somebody couldn’t stomach.

If that’s what I am to you, that’s what I’ll ever be.


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