Prose

Broken Lighter, Dead Bird

7 May 2019

(Content Warning: blood, drug use)

Party in the new house/ex-brothel. Each room has a two-way mirror. Now it’s all lengthy hallways and plastic flowers laced around the loft and a bong shaped like Yoda.

Realisations at the party;

  • I’m stagnant
  • I’m afraid
  • that cocaine was more plaster-dust than cocaine
  • maybe I’m not ready but this cocoon is too comfortable and
  • I need to get free.

Weird waves of self-expression, sometimes I’m so open. Tell strangers my trauma but can’t tell my mother.
Been doing the crab thing lately, exoskeleton, non-confrontational, non-communicational, non-…

But here I am with love seeping out my pores again, sticky hearted always, sticky date pudding, B tastes so sweet. Teeth so crooked, my butterfly boy, freckled chest so sweet, smells so sweet, familiar, way he walks, so sweet, can’t stand it. I leave bite marks on his nose, neck, ear, nose, nose, I love that nose. On the nights the fire burns too bold we wake stuck together by the clammy juice of his sweat (sweet) sweat.

I know L can taste our love. We leave it lingering like a salty mist in all the rooms of the house. I know L can taste our love. I can feel it in the way he rests his curls between my neck and my shoulder.

I don’t want to hurt people; all I want is love.

Addicted to love. Would die for love.

But I can’t do it anymore; holding him while he cries, walking into a room with B to find him sitting there expectant and wounded, can’t watch him smash old compost bins and abandoned streetside “it’s a boy” balloons in fits of pain.

A week ago he punched the chicken coop, smashed the wooden door. Brought over an old egg, bleeding from the knuckle. One piece of wood sliced him good and it dripped onto his shirt. I wanted to lick it up, kiss him better, take his heart out of his chest and kiss that better too.

You can’t ask someone to change a feeling.

Now that I don’t feel so strong a desire to be inebriated all the time, I feel a strong desire to feel a strong desire to be inebriated all the time (addiction is easy because it’s consistent and because it’s certain). Now that I don’t feel so strong a desire to be inebriated all the time I take more notice of L’s early morning beers; drunk before 8AM, laughs unsteady and almost insane. I found out he was on crack on the weekend when he called. He asks how I slept last night and gives me “sorry,” for the push, for the early morning fit, for “if I scared you.” He says “I’m going fucking insane do you know what it’s like?”

I cry into him over the kitchen sink. Feel ugly because all the evil is leaking out of me.

We share a joint, then a cigarette, mostly in silence. Then I go home.

The rings are a symbol, three glittering symbols of how we used to love. L’s, a mood ring set in copper and lime, slipped into my pocket one grayscale afternoon spent at Highpoint Shopping Centre. B’s I twisted together, wiry offcuts from the earrings I’d made Amie (great bones wrapped up in bits of bronze). L found mine on an escalator in Footscray, travelling up and bending down to pick up the small velvety bag filled with loops of rose gold.

Stumbled upon, stolen, crafted.

Our perfect symbols in shades of sunset.

Still tied together at the fingers, white twine stretching between us, ring fingers wrapped in promises of golden tones and shifting emotions.

The next-door neighbour dies in the night. The next evening we hear the midnight feathers falling from his new widow; great howling cries she sends out to the darkness. Saw a dying crow on the roadside the other day, all the feathers fluttering.

Tell B I saw our future just to be a tease; “Please tell me what’s going to happen,” and me: “But baby if I tell you it won’t come true!”

Can’t keep cycling through this pattern with L. I don’t love him the way he wants. He grows sharp teeth and those black eyes, hurts me. I cry and he goes to petals; wants me back, wants me bad.

Rough carbon copy of so many first loves—that insecurity that can only be eased with tears, the aching of another. Enough proof that, yes, after all, you are loved.

Our love was a novelty lighter shaped like a horse, we’d pass it round the circle and light each cigarette. Took turns sitting on one-another’s laps because we only had two chairs, three asses, and that was okay because we had our love like our lighter.

We can never promise forever.

But we like to, don’t we?

I saw a dying crow on the roadside the other day, wing turned sideways, claws opening, closing like he was trying to grab at anything, anything. The rain came down, first gentle and then harder, so that all the feathers that had been fluttering in the breeze were slicked down and stayed that way. And the crow wasn’t moving anymore.


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