n. the feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness—to the extent you have to keep reminding yourself that it happened at all, even though it felt so vivid just days ago—which makes you wish you could smoothly cross-dissolve back into everyday life, or just hold the shutter open indefinitely and let one scene become superimposed on the next, so all your days would run together and you’d never have to call cut.
In my defense, my forgotten breasts. In my defense, the hair
no one brushed from my face. In my defense, my hips.
Months earlier, I remembered thinking that sex was a ship retreating
on the horizon. I could do nothing but shove my feet in sand.
I missed all the things loneliness taught me: eyes that follow you
crossing a room, hands that find their home on you. To be noticed. Even.
In my defense, his hands. In my defense, his arms. In my defense,
how when we just sat listening to each other breathe, he said, This is enough.
My body was a house I had closed for the winter. It shouldn’t have been
that difficult, empty as it was. Still, I stared hard as I snapped off the lights.
My body was specter which haunted me, appearing when I stripped
in the bathroom, when I crawled into empty beds, when it rained.
My body was abandoned construction, restoration scaffolding
which became permanent. My body’s unfinished became its finished.
So in my defense, when he touched me the lights of my body came on.
In my defense, the windows were thrown open. In my defense, spring.
We are the same. What you admire in someone, you can only do so because you have it in you as well. There is power in connection, so make work that you care about from your gut and let it show. We are the same.
I don’t know that I’m hard to read. I rub my hands for warmth when you’re around even though the temperature is 80. You’re still looking for hints when I linger after a hug, still looking for clues when you catch me staring at your lips when your words are long gone. I want all the things you want, all the things you may be. But my attempts to tell you are nonverbal, and the signs go unseen.