I Have Written An Exact Copy Of You
When we fuck, you tell me you want to bite chunks out of me. In your dreams, you are naked and beautiful. You sit on top of my mutilated body, blood covering the walls. It’s a love like horror. It’s a love like sitting in your kitchen watching Scream – you pressing me up against the oven with your hand wrapped around my throat.
Your name is October. I never learned to press your weight into words. Is it that your parents named you a month and thus named you an abstraction, or is it that your body sinking into mine can never be written into thinness?
I write poems, so you know that the flowers that bloom blue in the fall are holy. Or at least you know what I mean when I tell you that. The truth is, all the poems that I’ve written in these last months have been the same, they perfectly eclipse you.
Or, to say it simply, when the moon is swollen at the hips, I love you. Your name is October; your name is Henry; your name is Tyler; your name is your own. Do you feel the tendrils that creep from ink? How the words dream of you and wear your skin?
I was born at the end of September and that means I’m cursed. Or so my grandma says. My mother ate catfish on the first new moon she was pregnant with me, and from that day on, I was destined for misfortune.
At first, it manifested itself strangely. My ability to conjure my mother’s nightmares into waking life. I got a bloody nose in the middle of the night and left small handprints all over the walls – my mother tells me that her biggest fear is to lose her children in plaster catacombs. Though it worked in the opposite direction too. When we lived in the building that had a car crash through the living room window, I told stories about a ghost who lived on our fan. Every night, his feet brushed my mom’s nose into terror.
I started writing stories when I first found the words. When I first learned to dislocate “you” and “me.” The words slipping away from my body and latching onto someone else. It’s a possession for the ages. Canonization and all. The unholy “I” the taker of bodies and souls --
I am the ghost that lives in these woods. All the roads lead back to me.
Your name is October, and I’m sorry that when you dream of eating me, I dream of wearing your skin. I’m sorry that I’ve sewn you into my poems in the night, sedated by sex, drugs, and labyrinthine black sky. My stories still stitched to your back, my love, I’m sorry that they will become your own skin. You are the “him”; you are the “me.”
You are the hero, you are the dragon, you are the witch, you are the lover. Your chest hair still hasn’t come in. You’re older than me, but at night, I can feel your small frame crouch inside of my bones. We walk into my room one day, and there’s a dictionary page hanging on the wall, marred with our sonnets.
Borges, first entry. I can tell that you don’t understand. All you see are the big black words:
I am the ghost that lives in these words. All the pretty things die with me.
Then there’s a picture of you. I say, “You just gotta relax your eyes. ”
I learned this at home, but I don’t tell you that. No knowledge worth having comes from somewhere else. As a child, my father hung a pixelated abstract on the staircase that was a spaceship if you looked just right. He said you just had to look through the sign to see the image.
He didn’t know the effect that it would have on me. He didn’t know I would look into the frame for hours while he was at work, trying to relax my eyes more to find out what else could be hidden there.
One night, when the moon was milky enough to light the house, I slept on the fourth step staring up at the photo.
Did I see you there?
“I saw him there. ”
I saw you there.
My love, when I write these stories, they always look like you.