You lucky, lucky girl. You have an apartment just your size. A bathtub full of tea. A heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid. Don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes, your problems are papier mache puppets you made or bought because the vendor at the market was so compelling you just had to have them. You had to have him. And you did. And now you pull down the bridge between your houses, you make him call before he visits, you take a lover for granted, you take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic. Make the first bottle you consume in this place a relic. Place it on whatever altar you fashion with a knife and five cranberries. Don’t lose too much weight. Stupid girls are always trying to disappear as revenge. And you are not stupid. You loved a man with more hands than a parade of beggars, and here you stand. Heart like a four-poster bed. Heart like a canvas. Heart leaking something so strong they can smell it in the street.
I keep writing about sex. I think, I mean—
all I want is the after of it, after you took my
skirt off with your teeth, after I was so clumsy
with the buttons on your shirt that I ripped
them open because I was so fucking frustrated
and they bounced around my feet like pearls,
rolled under the bed. You thought it was sexy
and fucked me against the wall with my bra
still on. I felt like a queen. Saw, in the unforgiving
morning light, where your mouth had been. And
your nails. Your sweat. Now all I want is tenderness.
I hold eggs in my hand at the grocery store,
check them for cracks and leaks. I try to do the
same to myself. When I go to restaurants I stay
for hours, ordering nothing except wine and tracing
my finger around the glass rim until it sings. When
you said, Your skin is holding you in nicely, I cried.
So now you know. Don’t leave.