At first glance I knew that you were unlike the others—a pearly apparition illuminating in the distance—but what I didn’t know was whether you were better.
Do you remember the first time we met? Remind me. I nearly shat myself for fear that you would see right through me, see the fake that lingers just beneath the surface of my skin: the chameleon mirroring motions like a leaf that shadows the wind. You were so fucking brutal. Was I? Yes, I mean, you were not unkind, just… disinterested. I thought you were sweet, shy, harmless. Do you remember what I asked you? Vividly, vaguely, depends on the day.
I asked you if you believed in Eternal Recurrence. And if I would stand before you again, and again. And I laughed. Yes, I don’t know what possessed me to say such a thing. Well what was my answer? “The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!” I’m such a biter. It took three days for the mortification to sink, and even then I was determined you’d fall flat in my mind. So how did I regain my hue?
Sometimes words have a way of getting lost in false perceptions. I stood before you, bore my cryptic heart to you, but once I listened—your words had echoed in the crowded corridors of my mind—I understood.
When you stopped looking I felt exposed, like people would finally realize that I wasn’t that smart or talented; just a mere trifle with a polished sheen. So how did you cope? I didn’t, all I knew was that you had to stand before me, again and again.
You never lost your hue. It was only a brief interference of angles.
There is a harmony in the way that you part your hair, the few wisps that kiss the air, the coils blowing secrets in your ear, the soft strands fanning your neck.
I wish to touch,
but dare not disturb the primitive peace.
Solace is settled on your lap, nestled between your sprightly arms, buried in the shallow cavern of your navel, clinging to the depths of your popliteal fossa.
I wish to reach,
but my arm disappears into the dusk.
Can you feel the rhythm of the breeze that seeks to hold us apart:
We fought serpents and dragons, battled blazes and drowned the ocean. So what of the wild wind,
If love is feeling, then I am brushed silver,
indistinct, and yet lost in your impression.
00:00 is my favourite time of day, a crisp moment, offering the possibility of a clean slate.
—late night reflections
Je pense, donc je suis.
As for me, I am mean: that means that I need the suffering of others to exist. A flame. A flame in their hearts. When I am all alone, I am extinguished.
—Jean-Paul Sartre [Inès, describing her path to Hell, in No Exit, act 1 sc. 5, Gallimard (1947)]