I regret unregrettable things, like when I asked you to come after work to the cinema and you said no. I can’t change your answer, however many times I go over the word in memory with a blue Bic.
Memory is a shitstorm, makes me understand lobotomisation, because clean slate. I wish my perpetual state was not knowing you, to never have known you to the millimetre, the tailorable inch.
If you ate hearts, I’d be okay with it. I’d be meat, then, sustenance, have made a difference to energy levels, made your synapses fire like one time. But you don’t eat them. You don’t even excavate them fully. You’re a blind operator, using your lighter to torch-guide, and your fingers to detach ventricles, unsterilised. I don’t have a number to ask you why.
Butcher. Come back. Finish what you started. Marry me.
There is no perfect point, only a cross-pathed mess of near grabs, almost hads and overs. We’ll see, late, we were a time waste, hoping for a moment to strike, a Biblical revelation, movie-like regeneration, collage scrap fitting an exact left space when, really, life’s a crapshoot, and we’ll be dead soon wishing we’d taken the other when we could’ve except, when you’re dead, there aren’t wishes any more or regrets and any statement of what there is which I could make would be an arrogant stamp, smug snatch at a concept I’m uncomfortable with. But, we should’ve kissed.
I kissed someone else. And any actual feeling which wasn’t a ploy was a willing casualty. And, the family you’re from, you better than anyone understand what compromise is: a daily occurrence, not a prison sentence because even they eventually end, mostly.
Months later, once you’ve fucked my friends and I, yours, when you’d think it too late to try you ask, “What if?” and the boyfriend box with your name on it which I loft-shoved, barely saved from setting light, changes status. Trinkets waning in and out of use.
The papers have pictures of us but the ones on my phone, insured by your bank account, are precious like heirlooms I’m yet to inherit but the mere mention of them, the idea of an almost-get, is my brain tick before sleep, my morning nerve. And we’re a back-forth before we’re anything solid like a vow is solid and not just something someone says in a moment adjacent to ordering a hamburger.
We leave when sticky menus compromise manicures and I wouldn’t ask because periods don’t add up, of singleness, refinery, of the shoulds and who I am will never matter. In 2050 I’ll be a nice chest your grandmother once fantasised for and about when she was your age, when she was a little bit older than you.
I make you half-filled cups, in which the water barely soaks the bags I dip, and these are each nondescript flavours and you take deeper swigs than you’d need to if I brim-filled it, knew what I was doing, except I do, and the purposeful pour is control I execute over us like the lies which are list-worthy, committed to memory, in fact penetrable, confession ready, hell-takers, tie-breakers. In fact, if this is a tie, this one year, a little more, a TV time three-year fuck-up, then my rosary beads will fucking burn the scars on your feet until the on-top scars cover ones the other girls left, the girls who are women now because it’s so long since they got paid off with babies they didn’t have but did but you don’t know if they did but they did. You are so much older than me.
I watch the clip looped because, involved in it, when you’re inside of somebody’s mouth like this, the impact of the essence of the spectacle of it is unexperienceable, and the fumble-ability of your lips clicking and the lunch you taste on his teeth, food caught in, isn’t the viewers’ angle. Ultimately, is it better to spectate this sort of event, activities close-up and skin under?
He comes back and this happens in real life too but I can’t state enough the awkwardness of a break up reunion in the middle of a people-laden street in a town in which you know everybody. Unless you’re an attention seeker, and something says Toby is, a statement maker, you’d want a kitchen sit down, a cup of coffee pepping to be ready for a replay of kisses you could almost forget except in rollercoaster dreams in which the movement is a well wrought seasickness, a sleep-talk or walker committed to the reality they’re tricked into. And Toby’s a trick. A come back trick. And in real life he’d have news like, “Pregnant,” and, “Girls,” and, “Dating,” and, “Prison.”
We’ll collude and when we can’t, when every excuse is an invitation to make a joke dirtier than the ones Tim attempted in high school, we’ll find other people to efface. Except, I really like effacing you.
I will take you unsafe places to see the corners of your eyes which, unexamined, are mistakes overlooked like A grades. We talked through every top set class because what’s less motivation than teachers saying you’re the best of the best of the best? I lost my potential like earring butterflies in swimming pools, clubs, toilet cubicles. Like best friends swapping in and out of favour, taking back gifts to bestow on another.