From a letter I wrote to Juan, “I wish I could mail myself to you in a great cardboard box, foolishly mark myself a gift and sleep until you found me in your kitchen. Oh look, I would say, I’m real after all. See my problems? I will give them to you like ripened apples for you to chew. They will turn sweet in travel. I thought once that if my life refused to improve, I would just begin walking, not look back, and find my way to where you live. Life did improve, though. It feels alright now, like a place to live, at least until the next thing happens.”
My eyes slip across the street, noting where sand collected in what used to be rain puddles. I think if this moment could be collected, I have friends who I would like to send it to, who might understand the feeling of weight my blood carries in my body. Everything is heavy, even while curled on a couch, resting my head on a pile of silk pillows, my dreams full of choreographed shouting, difficult and lonely. A sheathed short sword in my hand, taken from a shelf, held in my hand, jabbed in the air for emphasis. If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it my way, thick with mythology, mired in darkness, as pregnant with promise that only mystery can be. The tip of the black bamboo case held at his throat, keeping him still, an implied threat. Any minute I could drop it, any second, I could put it down, and wait for his hands on me. A pass, forensic, you are healed, lightning coming down layer by layer, impressed upon the landscape like a gravestone rubbing, rain falling without regret, reminding the grass to be green.
Behind my eyes, I rewind, reposition him, the stairs, the way I might reposition a tea-cup for a photograph. I attempt to find a configuration that has nothing to do with frustration or anger. I rewind, reposition, I suggest lines to the scene as if to an actor. My body lies perfectly still, except for a frown, one tiny crease. Why can’t I be dreaming of cat strange eyes? I am sent to the river. Washed of glory, he walks down the stairs again. I again gesture, upset, incontrovertible. It is a loop, queerly criminal, taken out of time as if it were stolen. My footsteps are silent, but his are not. There is no wall where I want one.
Above all, I require grace. I said it out loud in the shower the next days, the words like soap bubbles, clean, beautiful, a renewed realization of what keeps me clear.