We do not talk about them, these bruises: the ink stains on my fingers, or the marks she left on my neck. You do not ask me about those photographs: the smiles that remember caresses, the averted-gaze-embraces. But I wear them – the memories and the marks – and I think you know that my bed here is empty, that there is a space in my dreams where her eyes should be, that there is a hollow in my hand where she should be. I think that you know I was in love in High School, with the woman with the eyebrows and the tightly spiraling handwriting.
I think you knew that there was a person in my poetry. I think you knew that those rages had a reason. But I never spoke about it then: that bilious question, that vacuum beneath the surface. And when I filled that vacuum with a sharp and frightful answer, it was not you I told. I told a voice that spoke to me, there in the dark, by the hockey field, as I wept through the gaps in the pier that bent above my own Lachrymose Lake. I think you know that the first girl – the one who smiled, and smelled of apples – had the same birthday as you.
I will not tell you my tales of Bloomsbury Street, nor share with you the wine-bottles full of salt water that poured when the moon rose in a certain way. You will wish, and turn away from the marks. And perhaps I will wear scarves, and smile at boys who share my birthdate. Maybe I will keep these memories like a secret. But I know – I know – we will not talk about them: These bruises.
July 27th 2011 03:54