“I etched a face of a stopwatch
On the back of a raindrop”
A room devoid of furniture, except for a cassette player mounted on a wooden stool. I lie here, exhausted after a long, uneventful day. She sits across the room, facing me, having smoked half of her cigarette. She loves this song, she said she always wanted to kiss me to this song. I wait for her to remember her promise, till then, I look at her simmering in her beauty. Aware of the magic she makes, aware of the forts that have turned to ruins without the influence of her presence.
“I heard an unhappy ending
It sort of sounds like you leaving”
She takes in a long drag, fills her lungs up with lethal smoke, exhaling softly these clouds of nonchalance infused with a throaty laugh. A cigarette dangling from the valley between her index and middle finger, her hair pulled away haphazardly from her face with an overused hair-tie, just one rebellious strand touching the nape of her neck, right where I imagine placing my lips, only to inhale the redolence of sweet alyssum from behind her ear.
“You look like you’ve been for breakfast
At the Heartbreak Hotel”
She notices me looking at her intently; like a predator, waiting ever-so-patiently for the right moment to pounce upon its prey, ripping it apart, devouring it bit by bit, first skin, then flesh, then soul. She adjust her T-shirt so that it covers her bare body down to the mid of her thighs, and draws an inhale that lasts a little more than two seconds, must be thinking of something I wish I knew about. Holding conversations with her is a chore because I never know what to say in reply to her colourful stretches of silence; I have grown to accept these wisps of smoke that escape her sanguine lips as answers to all the untitled poems I’ve written to her.
“If you’re gonna try and walk on water
Make sure you wear your comfortable shoes”
I want to displace myself, a little, just to relieve my right arm from the burden of my entire upper body. I decide against it, her presence is staggering enough to encompass the energy of this room in her watered-down eyes. I let her do the moving, the breathing, the laughing. She cherishes the last pull from her cigarette, and slowly sweeps herself up; and as she stands, the most beautiful miracle of anatomy that my exasperated eyes have ever lain on, a poisonous fog outlines her face. She emerges from within it and walks towards me, looking like an angel, moments away from taking me by the hand and stepping into heaven.
“I heard the news that you’re planning
To shoot me out of a cannon”
Her face is inches away from mine, I want to kiss her, but I remain still lest it pulls her out of her self-induced trance. I wait as she counts her breath on my lips, as she inhales and exhales and stops to smile. I want to kiss her, but not yet, not before she is fatigued by this playful ritual of moving her lips against mine, close enough to touch but not caress. I feel her hand on my chest, grazing along my skin to find a heartbeat. She treads upwards, her soft palms just about to touch my throat. She hesitates for a moment, but eventually reaches her destination. She is patient, calm, benign, she doesn’t want to cause me any discomfort. She laughs again- her beautiful, aromatic laughter- simultaneously dipping two of her fingers into the gash on my neck and then fiddling with the knife that lay beside my body. The same fingers that held her cigarette. My blood is still wet on her hands. She finally kisses me, passionate and firm, almost as if asking me to come back to life.
“Your waitress was miserable
And so was your food”
She gets up from above my carcass, wipes her bloody hands against my sleeve and turns up the volume on the cassette player. Singing to herself, she pulls on a plaid skirt and untidily tucks her T-shirt into it as she fiddles around for another cigarette. She finds it. She lights it. She inhales, sighs, exhales. I want to kiss her again, but I know I cannot. I try to remember how her first kiss felt like. It felt like cough syrup on a feverish tongue; and her last, like resurrection after my untimely demise. She steps out of the door, her smile tells me that she will never cross the threshold to enter into my house of grief again. I watch her leave, I think she whispers something. I hope she said she loved me. I love her. The only farewell I needed was this, the one she had so lovingly bestowed upon me. The song stops playing.