Other Kinds of Tongues

Trying to write well these days is like picking at a faded scar with the intent to make it bleed the same fiery shade of red as the first time. You can’t. You just end up with a new wound. 

I keep trying to resurrect the same buried memories of us as a means of breathing living air into a dead love. But that love is a rotten corpse, and we both know that, and so does everyone who still reads my work these days. We’re just bones now. We’re just decay. I can’t recreate the stars we shared, or the tangled limbs in the sweltering aphrodisia of late August, or the blessed sacrament of sharing a twin bed, holy unwedded.

Every new description of you is a counterfeit of the real thing. A false god with no believers to back up His realness. I can write all I want about how we’d skip Sunday morning church to speak in other kinds of tongues. Or about giving you haircuts over the moldy bathroom sink with safety scissors. All of that blond clogging my drain. A sharp gasp of horror.

What can I say? Dead loves make for delicious poetry. All of that tragedy and tenderness, lovemaking and then breaking. 

I can’t help but pull us back into the present. Chipped paint and goosebumps and a single-stemmed rose. Bottled soda shaken too hard, spilling over your lap in the library. A goodbye. A heaviness. A piece of me crumpling inside, tinfoil.

I wonder if you still read me.

I wonder, even more so, if you can find us in the replica.

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