Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 31 October 2012

here

i am here.

my eyes are dark dark brown, glassy when feverish. i could never fool my mother. i am just under five foot six, and i always round up. i have a preference for men who are near my height (pleasurably easy to kiss) and men who can rest their chins on the crown of my head (safe, loved, little bird). my parents, no great readers themselves, read a thousand books to my sister and i. and my grandmother. i can hear her telling me goldilocks in her room. i can remember the sound if not the sense of my father, making up a story for me as i lay in bed insisting it never end. i was reading alice in wonderland for the first time when my relatives came from newfoundland. dragons were real. dragons are real. if there is an alligator behind the sedanos and a snake in the pool then what kind of obstacle is a dragon? i read indiscriminately. tamora pierce and shakespeare in fifth grade, around the same time as sex ed videos. no difference. my sister sometimes snatched a book from me, mid-word. once i chased her into the yard, into the street, yanked a horrifying clump out of her hair. we were complicit. we both knew what we were doing. we never meant for it to be like this. my mother never let us cut our hair. except the one time we went to cowlicks’n’curls after i cut both our hair. my mother was horrified. is easily horrified. horrifies me easily. i love my mother because we are complicit. i love my sister with the unyielding meanness of an older sibling, the protectiveness that only someone with a younger sister knows.

i am here.

i came to new england. i chose this without any kind of choosing. but i am here too. the fishing towns and the whale bones and the way i am myself and not myself and the streets that i understand so perfectly without being able to give even the vaguest directions to a driver. surprised by every one way. still looking for the things that have gone away, the stores and the lovers and the friends and the autumns. the supersocks, and the delihaus, and the wednesday night dancing. the park where i knew for sure i existed because you wrote this perfect little tree poem only for me. the inlet where i knew i would never really be in the world because you were here just to be with me and couldn’t even see me. the way i would never say the dark terrible things in the dark. except to someone far away. 1500 miles. plus or minus. the rainy day looking for the labyrinth. and the clubs and the bars and the room upstairs with the fishtanks. the showing up at the basement and you not being there and writing next to the river. the music that i was so so stupidly proud of just because i knew you. so thrilled and so insistent. the rope swing and the kitten at christmas time. and the pink chair that i loved, that i got for that close cozy study. the chair where i read only revolutions in one enormous january gulp, and then abandoned. part of that big boston street cycle.

i forgot for a while that i am here. i am here.

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