Better Than You Were Before

Stop fucking with me. Either age gaps matter or they don’t. Have you pumped somebody’s stomach once they’ve drunk a vat of vodka, crushed a tablet into it? Wouldn’t think you’d have to, that the body knows what to digest and what it should eliminate immediately. But not always. We don’t make decisions with precision like uniformed bodies, funders, parents, best friends with best friend necklaces.

I’ve compiled clips, mostly in my head, but some committed to film, my iPhone, the webcam running on my computer when you don’t know, and what I can’t figure is, why you left last time? You said you weren’t ready for kids, commitment, but you never had a shirt fit you like I do, or a shoe. I buckle to bad heels, leave room for bunions, am in tune to insteps, the requirements of insoles: I’ll work on your posture if you want me to. I want to.

So stop fucking with me. Age gaps matter, don’t. I’ve pumped stomachs, felt my way around them with a finger, sewn tears up, kept a heart beating with hands. I’m all for matching jewellery or have you forgotten the offer I made with Jack in the picture, when Alex was there? I’ll never stop asking. Forget who I slept with between, it’s not a calendar. Forget the break-up dates, arguments in waiting rooms. Remember which song was playing.

I Am Nothing

You don’t expect the proposal. It’s a surprise like finding cash in an old bag, or food in the fridge when you thought you’d accounted for everything on the last shopping list. You don’t know what to do with it. Every other ingredient in the kitchen is part of another recipe altogether and you promised you’d have dinner with Jack, cook something for Kerry.

You play with your ring finger, the significance of which is dictated by men, by whom all decisions are made and language implied, and you pull the skin of it like it’s lost elasticity, or it’s excess weight, or it’s stretch-marked and heavy, and you think how jewellery’s akin to renovation, a superficial improvement, wearable, wearoutable, like fresh paint or the keys on your computer’s keyboard. F’s lost its shell altogether.

You wonder whether ceremony, performance, can recover scars, or just emphasise them, and Mark’s who you thought you’d end up with, and every mistake you used to carry like a badly plotted point in an episode of The Walking Dead evolves into the event it should have been, until you’re considering and reconsidering him, wondering if under the lights in expensive shops he’d be attractive like a full price shirt, his depths would shoot off in directions like diamonds, if you even might lose the receipt, purposefully, to give yourself reason to keep him.

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