She sat on her futon, bare-breasted, with her strong brown legs stretched out before my face; and they clasped the edge of the antique coffee table with her kitty-cat paws — each nail perfectly polished with the color of the Dead Sea; and she read to me, something about angels.
Where the fuck did she come from?
I knew the details, of course; the original coordinates. Something about a disheveled family. Occasionally, she, no longer impressed with herself, would mention the routes she’d taken — “Been there,” — the detours dictated by the whims of her heart.
She would learn to never follow the lead of a man — only of her dreams.
“At least, those — are worth the heartbreak.”
But even with all those words in between us — the words which she did not take seriously because she was no longer impressed, with herself — I could NOT have known the many distances she had gone, in order to arrive.
But where the fuck did she come from?
Never before had I seen a girl who could sit in her brown skin so calmly, wearing nothing but shivers.
Which would make me get up, close the window, fetch her a blanket.
“I’m fine,” she’d wave it off, of course. For she had gone some very long distances, and she would learn to never follow the lead of a man.
And it surprised me that she could be so mellow while stripped, wearing nothing but shivers over her skin. Most women would freak out with sudden timidness and cover-up their glorious breasts with silly arm gestures. The way their breasts would spill out over their forearms or in between their fingers would still be enough to make me want to conquer my fears, in their name: To make me want to be a man.
She, however, was beyond getting in her own way. For she gone some long distances — in order to arrive.
“It’s bad enough,” she’d joke, “that I’ve got this brain of mine!”
She was always in on the joke of herself.
But really: What the fuck did she come from? And how in the world — was she happening?!
With an erect spine of a disciplined dancer, she had been sitting up, watching me get dressed. I wondered: Would she write me into her poetry in the morning? Would I make it into her stories? (Dear god! I always get in my own way!)
On top of her knees that were fuzzy with shivers, she was holding an open book of poetry. I had just picked it up for her, from a bookstore where she was always finding something to read, about angels. By now, we had shared many books — and plenty of poetry. And we would share even more had it not been for one annoying habit of hers: of always reading the very first and the very last sentence before committing to the rest of the text.
“It’s the perfect test — of everything,” she’d always joke. So impatient — but always in on the joke of herself.
I’d get irritated, at first: “I don’t ever want to know the ending!”
But she would already be ahead of me, with her charm and that angelic face.
“Where the fuck did you come from?” I said to her last night, while she sat comfortably in her brown skin. I wanted to think of myself as poignant, or ironic at least. I reached out to move her hair out of the way.
Her hair! I had never seen it this long before. She would normally lose her patience and chop it off, coming back over the threshold of my house while looking like some French actress, with an angelic face. And it would fling above me, and it would sway, in passion — that glorious wing of hers! — and I would forget to say a prayer to my memory:
Please, please, please hold on to her! Just this way: Riding above me, long beyond my comprehension. Taunting with her riddles and poetry, never meant to be captured. Always: Above!
But instead, I would trip out: There would be so much of her! So much to remember. And I would try to say something poignant, or ironic, at least. And I would ruin it, of course. (By god! I always get in the my own way!)
Her hair! Last night, it was heavy with sweat and the grime of the city. I could smell other beings on her, because they would always want a piece of that compassion. They were entitled to it — that wretched lot of conflicted parasites! — and they would pull her down, down, down with them, by that very same mane of hers.
To keep it out of her face, she would yank her hair back into a bun — with an erect spine and a confident hand of a disciplined dancer. Or, she would flip it, side to side, as she did last night; and it would stream down — that glorious wing of hers! — and in its waves and long centimeters, I could see the distances she had gone.
But: Where?! Where the fuck did she come from? And how in the world was she happening — to me?!
I didn’t know. I couldn’t have known the distances she had gone — in order to arrive. I only knew the privilege of her time and poetry; and instead of getting in the way of myself, this time around, I would let her read to me, about angels.
“and she says
when I defame her
you are trying to
pull me down
by the wings.”
I shall not do that, not this time, with trying so hard to be poignant, or ironic, at least; with trying so hard — to matter.
Instead, I’ll let her soar above.