I wear a pin that carries a last kiss from a common name on the lid of my eye, around my neck coils a scarf that brought my fluttering wings back to life, my wallet is camouflage for how much I still love him, it lives in my witty black bag, the stain of two infidelities. I am armoured, the only one who can break my heart. Pieces and parts, twisting my hands in the sink, water running red, the lesson of a clothed walk through life. Things, how little of them are mine. Of course I want more, to have their voices rise with mine again, to create a rhythm of easy conversation, the happy patina of bitten tongues and worlds beyond words, but these are what I have; the way I wear my pocket watch on my wrist and cradled in the palm of my hand, my ear against the door of the sky, my permanently borrowed hat always the word No. There is no cavalry.
I leave the room, hear behind me, “she’s my brothers girlfriend.” remember to write. My surprise is mechanical. Shelter. I rest my head on his shoulder, let the flesh give substance to a ghost, and settle in.
What is passive? This is my kit, the way I wear a skirt, lipstick, stockings, the way I shift my hips against a close explosion or brace my feet when I swing to defend myself. Nothing to be scared of. The angles of these faces, lighting up on a street corner, attached sweetly to my memory, wear quietly. Composers, compositors, blocks of personal mythology, barely attached, like birds fluttering along a wire. I have never laughed so much in my life.