forget and stay sane
or to remember and ache
that is the question
forget and stay sane
or to remember and ache
that is the question
sometimes I forget
what it feels like
It was a smile that ended the world
yours, your eyes, and the look in mine
your hand on my neck, a few spoken words
the fuse was lit and
we saw it ignite in
a blast that no one else heard.
The whole thing aflame from a glance and a touch
you fled as it burned while
I stood there and watched the wreckage, entranced
the flames as they danced
the beautiful chaos, the burning expanse
I stood right there and watched the world shake
and all I could see was a giant, heaping
mess of a non-mistake.
in the time it took you to grow roots and stay
I was growing wings
and now I’ve flown away
you gave me a toothbrush and I promised I’d be back
it wasn’t a lie; I thought I might this time
but then I got my way
and he got in the way
and then time got away
and everything was gone and so was I
but you still check in now and then
to see if I’ll keep my promise
to hear some more of my silence
and you’ve never mentioned the toothbrush
but I wonder if it’s still there
I wonder if it’s still wet, still waiting
still dripping tiny beads of guilt, the drops
not big enough to hear from here
not loud enough, really, to make any sound at all
I see that you don’t want to mention her
as if I don’t already know
but there’s no reason to hide it
unless you think there is
I don’t see one as you pass me the cue
as I aim and shoot
and ask you
to tell me about her
and you do
because there’s no reason not to
I hear no regret
but I see your eyes
and I look away like I didn’t
even you can see that it’s fine with me
and maybe that’s what isn’t fine about it
I soak it up now
lizard sprawled in the heat
the warmth a reminder of
how cold my bones
like shivering drums
they were, they are, they beat
loud they become when I forget
but not for long.
I fall to the rock like
without it I shake
I shiver and beat
the warmth I remember, the work and the heat
but cold asks for nothing and
doesn’t mind me.
And I was a prize you won ’cause I let you
again and again and I
didn’t know then
that I’d never get you the way that you had me
you had me, you had me
you had me so wholly
your eyes wrapped around me
your lips would control me and I
didn’t know that your heart couldn’t hold me
I didn’t know it would never know me
never want me
anything but a lack, you see
I was the prize you won ’cause I let you and
you never knew
never knew what you had.
it doesn’t matter
we might have missed midnight but
we made up for it
But then sometimes
that one big crack in our foundation gets so layered up
with all the right things
all the perfect, magic things
that it seems like it just might hold.
it’s a splinter of some sort
and it’s an apt punishment
more than anything
what shocked me the most was that
you knew all along
and it wasn’t serious to him and that was okay and I was okay and it was all fine until all of a sudden it wasn’t.
sometimes I wonder
if you honestly believed
all the lies you told
Princess fingers, he said to me, and took them in between his own, long and lean. Breathing in the shimmering heat, I offered him my need, held it up, soft and gleaming. I didn’t see where he put it and I couldn’t hear it scream, couldn’t feel it over my own heart beating as I leaned in. Sirens wailing silent screams, muffled between our palms, warning me. But pale pink princess fingers don’t let go.
He should mean more to me than you do. This is newer, less stripped of hope, less full of promises that can’t be kept. He’s disappointed me less than you have, hasn’t had as many chances to.
So why is it that I can go around that bend and pass right by his street and not even notice it until it’s out of sight? And how come when I get anywhere near yours I have to stay in the far lane or turn before I reach it or else I’ll end up there?
Is it because I’ve known your place longer? Does that give it a stronger gravitational pull on me? Maybe it’s because I’m in your area under different circumstances, ones that make me impulsive, impetuous. Maybe it’s habit, a habit that was never comfortable enough to have before it had to be broken.
Or maybe it’s just you.
He had his back to me and I was curled up against it like a pill bug. The blanket was down below his waist and he’d taken my arm and draped it over him instead. I felt like a child, nestled there against him, and it was delicious and strange. I was awake, and I wanted him to be too.
Held there in a comfortable kind of stuck, I had nothing to do but stare at the back of his head. I decided my nose was to be my weapon. I poked him with it. Prodded. Tapped a little beat. There were half-grown hairs at the nape of his tan neck and they were tickling the space above my lip. I nuzzled into them, partly to wake him up and partly because I wanted to know what it would feel like to do so. They tickled my face and I giggled into his skin. I felt his silent laugh and pulled my head back, waiting for him to turn over, to wake up. But he didn’t. I frowned and tilted my head to the side, wondering if yelling “wake up and play with me!” would be too direct of an approach.
That’s when I saw it, a little tiny freckle behind the cartilage of his left ear. I couldn’t help it, I gasped in delight. He inclined his head toward me, curious.
“Did you know you have a freckle on the back of your ear?” I whispered.
“No,” he said, voice raspy with the first word of the day.
“Well, you do.”
He laughed, with sound this time, and rolled over onto his stomach, peering up at me with one eye, face squashed into the blue pillow. He watched me as I lay there, looking for freckles on his other ear. There was one right in front, but I was sure he’d seen it, and that wasn’t nearly as fun as the one unknown. I couldn’t help but wonder if someone before me had noticed it and simply not told him, or if it had gone unnoticed for years. Or if he had just gotten it and I was truly the first to see it. I smiled at the thought, and felt his eyes brighten on me.
The morning light was coming in through the sheer curtains, lighting up his face. I glanced down, met his gaze, then glanced away again. I’d never seen him in morning light before, and firsts always felt too big, too full, to hold. I was afraid that if I tried to, it would tip over and spill out and be gone.
There were new colors in his eyes and all I wanted to do was look down and meet them, hold them and know them. But I kept my gaze on his ear, his neck, the side of his face, deciding to start slowly, with freckles.
It wasn’t about sight with him. It was all feel, all touch. Every inch of his skin clear and bright under my fingertips, every inch of mine aching under his.
His hands on my waist, all over my skin,
his lips on my face, my throat, my collarbone.
I’ll never forget when woke me with fire in a kiss on the back of my neck.
They were sprinkled all over his shoulders like raindrops from the sun. The shoulders were broad and the raindrops were many and I told him I liked them on the first day we met. But he didn’t remember that; he only remembered me telling him he had a cute butt.
It was there on the tip of his nose, three shades darker than his dark skin. It was right in the very middle, and the symmetry was so unnerving I just wanted to stare at it and stare at it until it either stopped being perfect or I went blind.
And he was always grinning. Add a grin below a perfectly centered nose freckle and what do you get? You get me wanting to steal it and put it in my pocket and take it to class and look at it all day long and say fuck you, phonology worksheet, this freckle wins.
Just to clarify, I am not a cannibal. I don’t actually eat people’s freckles. Yes, I may lick them from time to time, but I do not literally ingest them. So if you came here looking for a how-to blog about cutting freckles out of people’s skin, or are expecting tips on the best way to include them in your favorite morning dishes, you’ve come to the wrong place (and you may want to seek professional help). Although I will admit that it’s a grotesquely interesting topic and someone should make a horror film about it.
So no, I don’t eat freckles. But I see them, I touch them, I absorb them. I take them into my memory, into myself. I consume them. Freckles are fascinating things. You can be born with them, you can acquire them from the sun, you can develop them as you age. They can be a multitude of shapes and sizes and colors and not one is exactly like another. You can connect them into lines and shapes, create constellations and works of art. They carry a certain importance on their tiny freckly shoulders. Whether you hate them and want to burn them all off your body or love them and want to build a shrine to worship them, they’re a part of you.
No, freckles don’t define a person. On the contrary; you might know someone extremely well, know almost everything about them and yet you may never know all of their freckles. They’re easily overlooked. Have you noticed your best friend’s freckles? Your mother’s? Your girlfriend’s? Can you tell me where they are and what they look like? Maybe a few of them. Most likely not all. But that doesn’t mean you don’t know the person. There are many ways, big and small, to know someone, and freckles are some of the tiniest. That’s what makes them special.
I like knowing people. I like learning details. If I consciously acknowledge and remember one of your freckles, I know you in a way that differs from knowing your favorite color or the name of your childhood goldfish. I might know your life’s story, but knowing a single freckle on your body is a different thing entirely. Freckles are another layer, on the surface but often looked over, and they signify intimacy.
Which brings me to breakfast. To me, breakfast is the most intimate meal of the day. I wake up with dreams tumbling through my mind. I’m a very vivid, often lucid, dreamer, and nine times out of ten I wake up remembering my dreams in their entirety, or at least in large segments. Breakfast is a time for me to sit and mull over my dreams. I sort them, releasing the ones I don’t want to keep and repeating the ones I do, running them over and over in my head until they stick. And if I don’t have any dreams to ponder, I use this time to simply think. I don’t like going out to breakfast. If we’re having breakfast together that means we woke up together, which means I probably know a few of your freckles. And I’m probably going to mention them here.
So no cannibalistic cooking tips, no morning recipes, just intimacy, connection, dreams, reflection, and a whole bunch of other things that I couldn’t possibly have foretold when naming my blog.
Without further ado, welcome to Freckles for Breakfast.