Hello To All That
Because don’t you get it. I cannot write without writing you.
Tonight, my city exploded. It was ten p.m. and every door on the street opened and people came pouring out and everything was loud and everyone was happy and even now as I type, there is a dog barking up the side of my building and a smile creeping up the walls of my cheek and I must, I must, believe…that we are together, all of us, somewhere.
Me in this half-lighted room with guitar chords vibrating into my veins and my brothers, the only boys I’ve ever loved, smiling in different states, and my father tasting the body of his beer, and my mother, my mother, forgiving herself.
And you, the boys I thought I loved, the boys I sank into—because that’s what I did, I liquidated and poured myself into your palms and waited for you to make a tight fist. I waited for you to understand that I was mutable and I was fluid and I was dripping through the cracks with each touch that pulled your fingers wider apart. You never tensed up, though, Kid. It was I, who lost it. I lost it.
The states of matter: solid, liquid, gas.
Solid: the rough gravel of your jawbone right before the lights went out. The muted dirty river floor in the bottom of your eyes, nothing like that deep green ocean into which I dipped my toes on the first days I did not cry. Solid. The backs of your thighs as I tried to pretend that if a body could smile than this is how it would curl, this is what it would look like.
Liquid: Everything that ever leaked from me on the days before, during and after you. Everything that could’ve been strong but melted before I ever had ice inside my fingertips. Everything that had no container. That I could not contain.
Gas: Dreams of you that float through my open window in the coldest months of the year. The exhaustion of the fires that I build from friction between my hands and scalp. Like air, like gas, regret. Everything that I tried to exhale, and everything I tried to release in the shape of speech. Everything that floats above my footsteps.
I remember learning about all of it when I was young. Seven, maybe eight. The three states of matter. On the page of the textbook, there was a teapot and the water was burning. The LIQUID was becoming a GAS. We had to repeat it all as a group, and out loud. The particles were separating. Baby.
The particles were falling apart.
When will I begin to write about the month I did not sleep. And I mean, really, write.about.it. Like I’m not afraid of waking up tomorrow with a salty face, hollow sockets, and a sandpaper mouth. Baby, I was never taught how to cry. No one ever told me it was okay to open the windows in my eyes.