Here is the space and time for past performative encounters to be spilled out— the dried up bits of fruit and flesh that remain in my memory, the scattered leaves of paper that have scabbed over my skin, making even the most tender wounds more lovely.
I held your hand for what seemed like forever. Why it seemed necessary at the time, I don’t know. Now it lingers in my palms, with a sweet perfume and a dull ache.
You watched me wash my feet—with honey. The smack of gold on my skin was almost too loud, too vulnerable in the white and empty room. It pops and crackles as I recall it.
You came in and then left again. No, you didn’t want to sit down—
And then you came back.
The milk was so cold, so soothing on my wine-stained eyes. They still burned. I held them tightly closed, and then I heard you—bending down, close to me. You offered me a towel to wipe my face, and you said:
“I just want to take you home and throw you in the tub and clean you off and tell you it’s all going to be okay.”
My eyes were red, and from the sticky itchiness on my face and neck, I could feel the tears still dripping . I must’ve looked pathetic. Your nose twitch and your hand start towards me. With a jerk, you stopped and barely over a whisper, you asked me— “May I wipe the dribble from your chin?”
Your eyes are clear, but now I can’t tell. Are your eyes watering or mine? The red makes your pupils dilate. The light is vibrating.
I couldn’t tell if your grip was growing or mine was. And then I felt the pressure increasing on our clasped fingers. Loosening and tightening, a pulsating rhythm. A heartbeat of hands.
Pomegranate seeds, golden hair, a wooden box, glass vials, a silver funnel, a red chalice of coconut oil, and a jar of honeycomb toffee.
I sit here, waiting. Still waiting.