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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Happy Birthday, Lily


Sentimentality has never been my strength. From Old French, one’s own feeling.
A stoat wearing an ermine jacket, say. It does not feel good to imagine this, just

as it does not feel good to imagine the grandeur of one’s own feelings. And yet,
we do this each day, yes? I read about the best way to lower your chances of a

tiger attack, to wear a mask on the back of your head. When I read this fact, I
thought of you, Lily. That you could be the face behind me, scrunching your cheeks

at the sight of a menacing cat. When we first met I thought you must be too
beautiful to have me for a friend, I who loused and squirmed and could not be

much without panic. Look at me, wearing the skin of an ermine on the back of
my head, look at how I dance with my hands behind my back. I used the words

I knew to make sense to woo you: egalitarian, programmatic, unequivocal, and
I said these to you in Madison Square Park. There were dogs everywhere, not a

big cat in sight. It does not feel good to imagine how bad I am at my own feelings
but I have learned that they are there, as when my uncle lifted the hood of a car

and found a huddle of sleeping kittens, because he had a hunch about the engine
and couldn’t bear turning the key. You put your hands around my waist once 

to show me what I was doing to myself. You gave me a scarf to cover a hickey
and it hangs in my house by a hook. It misses you, it tells me so when it moves

on its own blue-gold feelings. In the summer of our friendship I went down on one
knee and took your hand in mine. When the sky was the rooftop, when our love was

the sun that cooked the rooftop to fudge. When we held each other on the floor
every New Year’s Eve, you and me and Amy and Marlo. Who cares that there’s

no heaven after this one. Look, we are not uncelestial. Our bodies move in freakum
dresses from the Nordstrom discount rack, terribly gaudy and glowing, glowing.

2 comments:

Radish King said...

Oh oh this right here in the gut. Thank you.
Rebecca

bloof said...

Yeah I love this ❤️