the moments when we paused to ask why it was so magical.
our taut bellies touch, electric
“why does it feel like that?! what the hell!” they moaned. they say “hell” like “hill” that’s their little accent from nowhere. “what the hell!” all exclamation points.
it was the day they met me at shake sugary. deep southern heat. they skateboarded there. we agreed to talk about being poly. they wore tye-dyed tube socks and
i am worried I will forget what it sounded like to hear you say you love me.
you are happiest in the morning, when the sun comes up you pull me close and say “what the fuckkk you’re so pretty and i love you.” Our last morning together, when I turned to get out of bed for work, you pulled my hips to you and said “don’t go.” And I didn’t. Fuck work.
I keep thinking about the sunday before you died you were laying on the greasy faux victorian couch in your borrowed shack. I was sitting up at the end of it. you said “I feel like I’m gonna die soon” but in a matter of fact way that chilled me. to be honest, it made me want to leave you. Because I thought of you dying and the unbearable pain it would bring and realized I couldn’t handle love and all its gothic accoutrements.
I laid on your chest and said “i dont want you to die” I felt your uneven heart murmur beat, which you’ve told me that you’ve told me that i forget a million times- i say “i can feel your heart stop beating!” and you say “I have a heart murmur” I forget. forgetting is both a side effect of my petit-bourgeois prescription drug addiction and also forgetting is my way of getting by because it hurts too much to hold everything. and in spite of what you say when you feel up my arms and legs – I’m not strong.
my habit is to survive and i survive by forgetting but i cannot survive if i forget you saying “i love you” to me.
I want to make sure I’m not starting the day off doing the wrong thing. It’s like if I start off looking at all the messages on my phone, my whole day is shaped by that. So I’m just trying to be intentional like that. Intentional is a hip cool word people say now that just means that you do something on purpose. The use of it implies that usually we are not doing things on purpose, or rather, we are just falling into a habit. I think a lot about the quote supposedly attributed to Aristotle we had at Oak Park Prep “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” I was very dismissive of this idea bc it was being appropriated to make children act be “disciplined” in a supposed scholastic manner but taken out of that twisted context, it really is true. You are what you do, make a habit out of who you are.