“It’s disappointing to know that someone can see right through you.”
The moonlight curled around us while the salt dribbled upon my lips
It’s ok, he whispered. Just tell me
It’s nothing, I breathed. I am fine.
And he never said a word
Because we both knew I lied
Sometimes I wonder if the bricks weren’t so high. If the dust hadn’t settled so long ago, if the key wasn’t buried under quite so many grains. If I wasn’t so afraid of open spaces. Maybe the shadows would have left my salty lips. Maybe I would have shown him.
I would have scratched the chipped rainbows from my nails which nestled in his palm. The flakes would have settled in the sheets. And he would have closed his eyes. And I would have asked him.
Can you hear her scream
I would have taken him to the day when the blue and red lights weren’t fast enough. When my legs ran into the night, and her screams leaked into the walls. He would have stood with me while I held her, her too light for my arms. When Bravery shattered at her toes, and the truth settled in her eyes. He would have seen her stare up at me. He would have seen her fear. And he would have heard my heart weep. Did he hear the lies I told?
It will be ok, I promise
They will be here soon
It will stop hurting soon
And she believed me. She had no reason not to. I was me. But she believed me. I hope she can forgive me from the clouds
I would have wiped the black from my lashes, the makeup he says needn’t be there. The liquid would have swirled in the porceline and I would have looked at him. I would have asked him if he could see what was never there.
I saw the red band around the little boys wrist. I go to ask him what ward he is on. Jess, they say. It’s a concert band. I would show him the underneath of caps that I search. Does he feel the hair which I find. The bald which I don’t. That which I don’t understand. I will place his hand on my heart. I will tell him to feel its skip when the black is once more speckling the milk white of my legs. He will not hear me speak, from the lump in my throat.
She wipes my daddy long legs.
Jess. It’ s texta, she will say.
And I will not understand
I will remove the silver from above my eye, the dangle in my lobes, the shining star in my belly. I will place them in their pretty wooden box, and I will ask him to flick the pages for me. The newspaper black staining my tips. I will scan row after row, eyes darting. Looking for something which I pray I will never find. I will ask him.
Can you see their names
And once every row is searched, no letter left unturned he will hear me breathe. And he will close the memorials. Tomorrow we will start again.
I will remove each and every bracket, every wire framing my pearly whites. The blood and wire will stain my tongue, and I will ask him to hold the sharp edges. I will ask him if he can remember all that I do not. Mummy is driving and chatters. Him and her, they are talking about dying. They are talking about me. She tells him about the tablets I swallowed. The phonecalls in which I couldn’t speak. The nights they held me while I took a step further away from them. And he sits next to me, while I nod and smile.
And try to remember
And he looks at me while I pretend I remember. While I pretend I remember what I did to them
But these tears are my own. So I paint a careful stroke on each and every fingertip cover. My shaky hand streaks the black across my lashes once more. I remove the silver from their wooden bed and push their edges through the broken skin. I glue the wires upon their toothy palettes. Everything is back where it should be.
And he holds me while I lie