Invisible Children

There is no language for this
vanishing of the self.
All day, I burn alive old
philosophies. There is
nothing of my old rages,
nothing of the girl with
a knife in her throat.
The recesses of my mind
are too quiet. I do not
want to know what it is
to wake up without human
regret. In neighborhoods,
I am the voice catching
fire. Retrace this myth
of me, how everything
I touch turns inwards
to cigarettes, to sex,
to the blood-bleached
image of a rope around the
neck. The outline of your
eyes are infinite in their
ability to idealize the
unfathomable. Unhappiness
is not a side effect of
womanhood. Neither is the
narrative that begins and
ends with a fist. Look
at the alleyways you disappear
into. None of those spaces,
not even the deep, dark
imaginaries of your
depressed self, have
ever made good on the
masculine threat to
unravel my womanhood
forever. When I cannot
sleep, my mind begins
to reconstruct your image
as something great and
manageable. The bed does
not collect your dead.
It instead serves as a
repository for the invisible.
Goodness, like human biology,
works without gratitude,
without praise, without any
big language to claw it out
of invisibility. Every time
I write to you like this
is an effort to disappear
into kindness.
Since we met in the city
that night, my poems have
been repeating strange and
inaudible apologies. They
are as lost as I am. Maybe
this is why my body insists
on a beer at 8 AM. Guilt
is its own rabbit hole.
Do not become a writer
unless you are prepared
to perpetually bury
invisible children.
Neighbors will shoot
themselves. The thought of
an open pill box will scare
you into insomnia. Months
on end, I have been trying
to invent an explanation for
my late night writing. It is
2 AM. The world has long ago
wrapped itself shut. Someday,
my writing will jilt it awake.
I miss my old drunkenness,
and the strange grandiosity
that trademarked every
unmedicated manic episode.
I was the queen of everything
and men broke themselves
to touch me. Sex needs blood.
You cannot be intimate with
someone unless the body is willing
to ache. But enough with this
business of hurting each
others’ eyes open. I do not want
to lead you any further into
my horror shows. You are
not dirty or fashionable enough
to understand what a woman
means when she says I love you.
Can’t you see what
I’m explaining here?
Love does not talk people
out of dumpsters.
It is the knife in your organs.
It is the tired voice
screaming for forgiveness at 4 AM.

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