Sexual Musings :: Both Sides

Her.

You carved marks on my heart some days I swear are visible in the curtained morning light standing in front of my mirror; I brush shadow across my eyelids and watch the shine of liquid perfume fade like watercolor across my collarbones as they sink into the spots where your lips left imprints. It’s in the heavy way my breath catches when I see two people oblivious to the world around them and I find myself missing your knowledge of me; the weight, of knowing you when we were standing among a crowd of people too preoccupied with commanding their own space to see the way my eyes met yours with tears at my favorite song when the band slammed forward on the stage. I spread blush in the crevices of my cheeks, the cool porcelain of the sink under my hands emulating the cold tile beneath my bare feet; so unlike the searing, flame of your hands on my back in the middle of the night telling me to share the blankets. Line my eyes and swipe mascara up and forward and up and forward – such bright eyes seeming to contradict all the light I do not feel inside the hollow pockmarks your fingertips left along my jawline. I swear those are visible, too. Ghost lines of tenderness your mouth left (with every good-morning kiss) my concealer can’t hide; like the tattoo permanently etched between my shoulder blades you begged me to get one night we took off to listen to coffee-shop poetry and drink cheap beers on the back deck. I spray finisher on my hair and prod the pieces into place I’m so unaccustomed to; my pixie reflecting my decision to do exactly what you told me not to. Your warning to forever let it lay long a dull echo in my memory accompanying so many other snippets of random late-night talks about favorite cereals and books and blue jeans. I step into a dress, the brush of the chiffon against my calves and the metallic chill of the zipper numbing my already aching feet as I slip on stiletto peep-toes; I’ll barely make it til five o’clock before kicking them off across the bedroom when I get home.

 

I carry you in every part of me as I face the day; I feel the ache of your scars across my skin as I pull on my scarf and coat and face the brutal wind of winter outside my door.

 

You carved marks on my heart some days I swear are visible…

 

 

Him.

You carved marks on my heart some days I swear are visible in the early morning shine of dew drops clinging to the blades of the hay-field I breathe in; I kick my dirty boots against the step hugging the bottom of the truck and watch the flecks cling to the chrome the same way my arms bonded to your waist when you’d kiss me at the front door. It’s in the way I choose silence over the radio while I drive because it reminds me of the way we’d sleep with low music playing in the hall; I can’t stand to still hear your heartbeat in my head from memorization while laying next to you under flannel sheets. When you’re miles away from me, I shouldn’t be able to know how your toe would tap against the dash at certain “metronomic” intervals and crooning lyrics. I shouldn’t feel the ghost of your hand on mine laying on the console, like little feathers brushing the skin of my palm. Those road trips where you’d ask me about my day and I’d tell you every tiny detail from feed sacks splitting open to how I found new kittens in the barn and then I would hear the trill of your laughter with each pearl snap releasing from its counterpart and miss the way you used to claim them with your gentle fingers and your begging eyes. My steering wheel remembers the arch of your spine when you crawled into my lap to stop me from going into the house. My windows still feel the fog of your breath and recall how the dark night lit the lace you wore like neon. I deal with anger by disappearing for hours in my own head:  shred levees, chop wood, change the oil, fix the loose board on the back porch floor…I’ve done everything to try and bring stillness to my heart so you can’t hold power over me but you are there in every monotonous task. I painted the bedroom gray and I hate gray. I put in a security light by the garage but I never park in there. I scooted the couch against the wall even though I think it’s too far from the t.v. – all things I’ve done for you even though your essence no longer chooses to survive in my home, if it can even be called a home now without your busy hands in my hair tugging me down into a kiss. I can’t smell your perfume anymore (even though I try so god damn hard to) and I feel the emptiness stale in the air as if it too misses all the warmth you encompass. I sleep just enough to function but my ribs scream with soreness the next morning from how many times I turn only to find a blank space.

 

I carry you in every part of me as I face the day; I feel the ache of your scars across my skin as I tug on the ball cap you bought me for my birthday and check to make sure my wallet is in my coat pocket.

 

You carved marks on my heart some days I swear are visible…

 

© 2016 Pearl Bayou – All Rights Reserved.

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