Glass by Sunnie Gaylord

I wondered what the first would be like while inducing the last kiss. I leaned in toward you, taking lips and tongue, and thinking of soft translucent pink shells belonging to very pretty girls, who were going to hear your name for the first time.

When you pulled back, when you pulled out of my driveway, I felt this pull from pose and a –push- that broke both collarbones.

Now, there was no longer significance to the fearlessness I conjured when agreeing to jump with you. The cessation of falling interpreted to me what it really was to crush.

I thought about the first while I strolled alleys and felt an enigmatic frostbite on my hands in the gentle lukewarm autumn. The streetlights melted into the asphalt and my hair. I thought of boys who touched my locks and how many haircuts I had given myself. I thought of lighters, caricatures of small bombs, and I waited, back bleeding, palms bleeding, knees bleeding, for the first.

I waited in movie theaters. I paid for two tickets to sit and ignite the snowflakes that had annexed themselves to my hands. My fingers melting like wax, I watched curiously as they pooled into my skirt.

All my pillowcases ruined with sloe eyelash prints, I waited in bed. In the wake of splintered glass and fiberglass and the weakened looking glass, I waited.

All my invitations ruined, folded into paper planes and taken flight in every wrong direction.

All my skirts ruined, I waited in long lines and found everything I needed to say blown into brown paper bags.

There were evenings in which I spent years raking through cant, trying to find your accent. And there were days, I rived through pearl necklaces and hot irons. I split the breadths of awkward between drugstore Romeos and Juliets, bisected zygote liaisons, as if I needed the world aborted of love. Lighters were hurled toward the feet of the prettiest girls I had seen.

And then, in the current of an unexpected blue night, we found ourselves leaning against incongruent corners, paint chipping, cement dichotomizing, and the two of us holding hands like we were the only thing still held together in bedlam.

Our backs scabbed, bodies lush with claret rinds, and anemic legs wanting to give. You cried, telling me you found me prettier without fingers. Akin to being chemically burned and deciding to swim through salt, it was the very definition of insanity.

But you grabbed tweezers and culled the glass out of my feet. In exchange, I told you secrets in black out hoping they’d moor behind your eyelids. You knew me better in your sleep.

Then, the first hit hard. Avid dread settled in the gears of my clocks. I waited for angry dogs at my front door and malignant angels to claw out from under my bed. I waited to hear the weeping of lovers. I waited for the crux of my hands to feel nothing but pique and appetite.

But when my eyes shut, I saw your arcane blueprint, past lives cocooned in blood vessels, our life trussed in remote mystery. I saw myself in a sea glass wedding dress and the broken lighter ataxia on the altar.

I wanted to tell you it wasn’t the height that made me brave. It was trusting I’d never need to abhor the New Year.

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Categories: Issue 2 - Spring 2012, Periodicals, Poetry | Tags: | Leave a comment

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