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.

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Dry

I have been looking for gods since before I knew religion.

I sought Heaven in release, in expansion, in destination, in sandboxes without shovels or pails. In softness and dirt, gravel, scrapes and bruises on my knees, homegrown corn too pale, too green. The concrete porch with weeds in the cracks I picked at with my fingers, sage in the garden box, I crushed the leaves together with makeshift mortar and pestle wondering after their magic. The lavender bushes, a dead or dying apricot tree that never bore fruit but smelled like hope. A tall wooden fence I never got tall enough to climb. We buried Sasha in a cardboard box just beyond the fence, before the sledding hill. I pinched and pulled and beat the ground scraping for Heaven in that house and it was never anywhere.

Lilacs, it was fucking lilacs. I had to text my father to remember but there were lilac bushes along the left side, left side walking in from the street, before the gate. The neighbors had a chainlink fence they knotted around our wooden one. The lilac bushes were so tall. So many conflicting smells, lilacs, lavender, sage, corn, apricot, wet sand, plaster and drywall, blood. Just a little blood, not enough to kill the grass or stain the linoleum. Dull, brown blood clotting the carpet. No, not enough for that.

I don’t know any of the plants in our new house. Except the one birch tree beside the back porch, the holly by our front door, and ash trees in the backyard, was it ash? I have not found God in these. The waxy peel of the holly leaves between my fingers, when we trimmed the branches last summer before I left for school I tied the neatest ones in a bundle and kept them. I dried them in my room, hung them upside down, though I think that’s for flowers, not leaves. Did I throw them away or are they still there? Does God glimmer from the holly leaves?

Eight years and it’s still “the new house”. At this point I’ve spent more of my life there than I did with the lavender, sage, apricot tree. There was never grass at the new house. I just remember the old house being so much more green.

Mud, soil, thickly packed dirt, I hate the rub of grained rock on my bones, nails on a chalkboard for the body, how do you feel a sound?

Much more blood in the new house. Lingering smells, unknown nature. Enough to stain the linoleum.

I miss pink sheets and fairy wallpaper.

Is God in the act of missing or in the subject missed?

Do we arbitrarily attribute God as a property of objects and ideas or is God already within them? I guess I’m asking if God is objective or subjective?

Schopenhauer was the biggest fucking hypocrite, he believed he was a misanthrope but his philosophy is drenched in religion. He believes in truths that lift us beyond who we are, out of our futile, desperate Willing, into a universe of true form. He believes in a soul.

When I see and smell and rub those waxy leaves between my fingers I do so alone, grounded, Willing. Is my God in this singular sensation? Do I have a God if I don’t have a soul?

I have five roommates and me and sometimes they get flowers. They put them by the windowsill or in a vase on the kitchen table, as if we can afford the wasted space due a centerpiece. And then the flowers die. I used to watch things grow and green and die with all the time in the world but now I come home one day and the flowers are just gone. I miss the passage of time. There is less blood here than any home I’ve ever lived in but I think I miss the smell.

Is God in the act of missing or in the subject missed?