Another story I found from a number of years back…still has some oomph I hope….
A Series of Stories about Love
The first thing that comes to mind is all the breathless tugging. At clothes, at skin, in her mouth. The way you squeeze into it, the wiggle and dance, and then you drown.
She told me of her life-dreaming last night, lying in bed. How she just knew, she really knew, at fifteen or sixteen, her skin first licked by flames, all her dizzy hopes, her victimized newness, those first irisy smelling blooms in her flesh, that she would always love in such a way that men would eat at her, chew her to blood and spit her out.
It didn’t happen this way. She bought a blender.
And every time, at just the right (or very wrong) time, she stuffed them in, ground them to pulpy bits, and poured them down the drain. This is my wife we’re talking about.
The blender is out. The blender sits on the counter. It’s been four years.
First the sun rises. Everything warms, your legs glow into coals. Arms flush with melanin, forehead beading sweat. Her ears are red. Your mouth gasps and gulps at the air of the others language. Someone lights your fuse. The booster rocket burns away. A holocaust of flames.
She’s never stayed friendly with a man for so long she says. She makes a list of what’s necessary to her life. Your name is not included. I wonder if the blender is still working. The right very wrong time is past. We are nowhere.
I consume alcohol like fields do liquid in drought. I smoke like an oil field already spent. I caress and fondle a fuzzy June-bug in my palm. With my lips. I tossle my son’s hair. I cry. I love everything one way. Addiction. Obsession. My love is a jet turbine (I say), a swallowing vortex, a whale. My love is neuroses. You’ve got the wrong each other, the weather says.
First there are nine kinds of electricity. One for each of the senses. And they all get plugged in at once. Except mine were never unplugged. Rain-powered, blood-powered, keeps going and going and…
I would not have your name tattooed on my body, she says. Only permanent things, she says. Like zodiac. Like turtles. Like signs for god.
Everything hurts, but we knew that already.
This is my wife we’re talking about.
I have a lazy eye. It wanders about and falls asleep at random. Its dreams are split away from the rest of my body. I blow lightly on the spiders. I stroke her calf. I read a line of words down a page and get inappropriately, inexplicably charged. Most things turn me on. The turbine has only one speed. It’s what makes the planets move. It hurls the moon’s stones. It fills stars.
The glance of fingertips on arm while walking one night: first strawberry in the mouth.
Strips of fresh mango: her first song.
She will not be overcome. She fiddles with the blender’s buttons.
We have made children together…
I love mountains. The sight, smell, rocks of them. High, cold streams. I love temperate woods. The tall soft spike of giant firs. The drape and droop of their large limbs. And mermaids. Salt on liquid skin. I suffer from addictions. Rituals. Habits. Gas for the turbine. Sight.
Shoulder. Tattoo’d calf. Waistline. Ankle.
Knuckles on a hand. Hair over neck, down between shoulder-blades. Belly buttons. Crotch. Wrist. Veins at the back of the thigh.
Fuel for the turbine. Touch. Smell. Thinking. Dreaming.
I hear the blender in the kitchen grinding frozen fruit and yogurt. Bones. Blood. I shiver.
“I could not be intimate with you if I didn’t care,” she says. “It’s 50/50 my like and dislike, my hope and depression. I want to be in love again, but not out of love again, so I stay.”
(This is my wife we’re talking about.)
“But you should be loved like an engine too,” she says.
Just let the engine run, baby, I say.
Love for a woman is systemic. Like cancer.
The blender is like chemotherapy. No one really knows how much it destroys.
Love will destroy you, she implies.
Like alcohol. Like war. Like fire.
Maybe we shouldn’t own guns.
But that first day at the range. The charge of the buckling of your shoulder. The loudness of the rifle’s shout. Those sudden bursts. The sheer power and speed. You fire, again and again. You conceal it in your hand. They live and fill your pockets.
We possess many weapons.
A person is an armory.
She is a turtle mostly, she says. She carries it all on her back, she says. She can retract at any time. Be saved from the flow of hot wind, the battering of sound, and the flood of all at once, if she needs to, she says.
The turbine spins (it’s the size of government buildings), it blows, rages, floods.
We draw letters in the mud. It dries, cakes, molders.
We set these things in concrete stamps.
We yell permanence.
(The blender is whirring in the kitchen). Even rock will ground down.
“I have the sense that the meaning of things will never be sorted out,” the poet says.
There is no hope.