I bow to you. How your hands take mine and pull me under your heavy embrace. How watery your bosom against my breast, your fingertips against my chest, your smile pressed into the gaze of my distracted eyes.
I bow to you.
For your blood is a bubbling brook of fresh water, your breath like a sea breeze that carries the brine, your heartbeat now the undertow that lulls me to sleep and tears me from bed, scrambling as though I’m drowning, drowning as you take me in and feed me.
I bow to you.
With your body entangled in mine, you are a whirlpool, and I am your spin. You are the current, and I am the sailor stranded in your open waters. You are the waves, and I am the thunder you bring to the shore. I am helpless, I am hopeless, I am hindered, and you carry me in your moist arms, your damp palms against my sagging spine.
An academy of insults
the strychnine of silence
harbor only false hope
in this place of desolation
standing idly at the line’s end
holding your boarding passes
and carry–on in one hand
and your lover in the other
what kind of comedy
is happily ever after
when you’ve grown tired
of telling him goodbye?
After we exchanged rings I realized how afraid I was to wear it. What if it slipped off and I didn’t notice and lost it forever? What if someone saw it glinting like platinum in the moonlight and tried to steal it? What if they succeeded? I tugged it unconsciously, spun it constantly, couldn’t stop looking at my hand, just to see it was there, even while I felt it.
On the subway, smiling at each other, we tapped our rings together and he said, “They’re like rings of power,” and I laughed, thinking back to Saturday mornings with my eyes against the TV while my five friends chanted, “As our powers combine,” and the theme song to Captain Planet began playing. “They are,” I agreed, and grinning, he added, “Just so long as they don’t turn us into Nazgûl.” And have I told you before that Tolkien is my literary idol? Have I told you before I dream of writing a world like his? Have I told you before there could have been no better way to end our engagement than those softly spoken words as we hurtled under the earth?
Now I wish they were Rings of Power. I wish I could spin it on my desk, a white light engulfing its silver surface, and be able to talk with my love as if he were in the room with me. I wish I could tap it three times on the door and open it to step inside his room. I wish all I’d need to do is put it on to teleport beside him and take it off to come back home.
But it’s only a ring. A silver band with imperfections just like mine. I can’t appear beside him at will. I can’t whisper here and he’ll hear me there. It’s only a ring.
And I’m no ringwraith, no chosen one. I’m only a man.
At the airport they escorted me to the side
where I stood waiting to be patted down
and examined. “It’s standard procedure,”
said the man ahead of me in line. He had brown hair
and sunglasses. “Happens to me almost every time.”
It’s coming a year since then
those days almost 365 before when
I crawled into death and found myself again
But it won’t end there—
it never will.
Then it’ll be a year since I started counseling
and a year since I got out
in May—a year since LeaderShape
when I learned the importance of vision
when I made a new family and learned how to see
a year after D.C.—I met two senators
in just as many days
and decided I want their desks to be mine.
It’ll be a year since we reconnected
since we jokingly said we should get married
but meant it all too seriously
a year since we fell in love unwillingly
since we finally admitted “I love you”
nearly another year after we met
and then, my god, it’ll be two years to the day
February 11, 2013
two years and I’m still sitting in my seat
waiting for class to begin
seeing straight to my death
and signing my obituary
afraid what I’ll feel like a year to the day
afraid what I’ll feel like in ten.