Emotional Snapshot

I’m listening to you play piano and mumble to yourself about what key you’re in and does this note go here and why your creative process has to be rushed. When you told me you were here I said I would come up and do homework but now I’m just turning my computer screen away and trying to look busy. I can’t stop smiling.

God, when I’m not around you I rant and rave about how stupid I am to like you. I fret over every text, I pull my hair when you don’t respond but scold myself for jumping at the phone when you do. But when I am here, and you’re there, five feet away tapping at the keys, not even looking at me but just being there, being comfortable enough to talk to yourself in front of me, responding wittily to my agonized groans of how I just can’t write this paper, singing. I can’t stop smiling.

Chess

Once I finish my turn, I look across the table.

“By the way. You’ve caught on, haven’t you? You know.”

Only a moment before a wordless smirk stretches across his face. He makes his move.

“I didn’t want you to know,” I explain. My eyes dart back to the board. “I only saw the first… glimmer of recognition in your eyes today.”

“That’s because today I stopped hiding that I knew.” He gestures to the board, urging me to counter.

“Since the beginning of March,” I say, advancing my pawn and answering the question he didn’t ask. Silence. His knight clacks an L across the board.

I wait. Still nothing. “Is that it?”

He shrugs.

This next part didn’t happen.

I advance a knight of my own. His black lacquer gleams, carved eyes narrowing as he readies his offense.

“Do you know why I didn’t tell you?”

He would shrug, feigning nonchalance. He would guard his king, bolstered behind rooks and bishops, tower walls and holy dignity.

“Because he’s so close to you. For the second time in a row, I choose someone close to you but not you. And you say you’re over it and that you don’t care but the first time you said that even half-convincingly was a week ago, when it’s been almost half a year since the first time I didn’t choose you. And three months since you chose someone else and I became the one with no one to hold onto.” As the words trickle past my lips, rolling down my chin and dripping onto the board, my knight rushes forward, charging his sterling white opponent. Their swords clash, ringing malice and steel. “Because you hold grudges, even though you’re the one with a happy, loving girlfriend now and swarms of friends buzzing around you like–” The black knight stabs at the air and nicks his enemy’s horse. Blood splatters the battlefield. Enraged, the white knight strikes back and runs my champion through. He slumps lifeless onto the hilt of his opponent’s sword. The victor shoves the corpse away, wordless. Clack, as his body hits the board. I sigh.

“…like moths at a flame. And I’m just another moth.”

But this didn’t happen. We stayed quiet. We finished the game. I don’t remember who won. I only remember that when the boy I chose walked through the door with a smile for both of us, I smiled back, and he did not.

Comfort

I’ve never said I love you and meant it, not like you’re supposed to. I say it to friends who I do love, seriously, and then it’s as easy of breathing. The words slide together and slip in and out of sentences and lace every word, God, I love my friends. But I’ve never been in love. And then, in that context, even saying the word is hard. Alone, bare, dense as dark matter. Love.

I love? I can’t. I can’t even imagine it. My hands are clenching around my phone, vice grip, fingers slow and fumbling. A text with the word or the connotation of love is a death wish. I can’t love, I don’t know what that is.

I think of people I may have loved and just not known it at the time and my stomach tightens like handcuffs around a criminal wrist, around the notion of love, and my hands fumble further and pull to a stop.

I want to vomit. My vision is getting hazy. Invisible tears yank my Adam’s apple ragged in my throat, telling. I put on makeup today to impress a nonexistent lover, to seek what can’t be sought and what I may not even want! The idea of love terrifies me in the great and terrible way the shadows on the wall terrified the cromagnon in “Allegory of the Cave”. The shadows are my world and I do not know the truth of them and cannot see beyond them, if I walk into the sun will I let my eyes adjust to the light or reject it and run back to the dark? 

Being cold is all I’ve known. It’s comfortable by now.

My eyelids dip and my consciousness fades as I sink back into the black and let the nothing caress me like no man has. I am a stained glass woman in purple and blue, all light that passes through me comes out shades darker, never pure. I will shatter with one thrown stone. 

It’s comfortable by now.

Nervous

I am a leg-shaker, a nail-biter, a wrist-wringer and a gum-chewer, but my palms never get sweaty.

So sorry if I smile when our hands brush and I notice your skin is slick with anxiety.
Sorry if I laugh when you pull away, self-conscious.
I wear my worry on my sleeve. It’s cute to know you worry too,
albeit in drops of sweat puddling your palms.

via Daily Prompt: Nervous

First

I am not the first to want you and I won’t be the last,
I don’t believe in things that are permanent but right now
I am your Alpha and Omega.
We are the starting gun and the finish line
and the burst of adrenaline at the two-thirds mark
once your will crawls over the wall.

I know what it means now when people say your heart can race,
they don’t just mean the heartbeat,
they mean the chase.

I am not the first to want you, I doubt I’m even the only one today
And fuck, I’ve watched you kiss other women,
laughed as you ran your hands up her chest
and she knotted her fingers into your hair.
I don’t believe in things built on faith but right now
I am your savior and simultaneously your supplicant sinner
Pray at my altar and I will drip golden ambrosia onto your lips,
pulling you up to me with my fingers knotted in that fucking hair.
And I will pray at yours, begging for your sweetness,
There is no one so high as not to beg for salvation.

That chase.
It’s the same chase of a hunting hound after a fox,
Or a weak, desperate man after an idea.
You want to want something almost as much as you actually want it.
To have something to chase is to have a finish line, the harder the catch,
the greater the high.

I am not the first to anything to you, I am not the first in any sense of the word.
Women have fucked you, women have loved you, you have loved women,
women have been fuck-buddies with you, people have cared about you
more than you’ve cared about them and vice-versa.
The world isn’t fair.
I don’t believe in innocences or purities. Or in fairness.
No “buts” this time.

I don’t have to be your first, I just want to be your something.