July Fourth and the cruelty of heartbeats (Revisited).

“Your heartbeat is mean,” he said.

“It’s too loud,” he said.

He was trying to sleep.
The smoke from the fireworks had long cleared our skies,
so he was going to sleep.

And I was going to think.

The blue lights from the TV licked the wall behind us and I looked down at his dark,
sleeping eyes,
his shiny, shiny eyes;
it was like our sadnesses were suddenly lining up against each other like
two sides of a magnet.

When we first met he found two scars on my hands
and he’d kiss them until he couldn’t breathe.
Now he’s found the scar on my heart (inflamed; ripped open; sewn again shut)
and he kisses it just the same, and then throws it in his closet.

Kid keeps me, not skeletons, in his closet.

“But it’s yours that’s cruel,” I said.
Sometimes it’s loud, like mine. Sometimes it’s loud
like the gunshots in Lexington, like the fireworks overhead tonight.
Like the tires screeching to a halt,
scarring the road in their wake.
And just when it has kept me company and sung me to sleep, it grows quiet.
It’s like my ear is pressed against nothing, like I’m burying my face against
air. And just when I’ve found my own background noise, my own steady rhythm,
it starts to beat again.

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7/3/2014

“Your heartbeat is mean,” he said.

“It’s too loud,” he said.

The blue lights from the TV licked the wall behind us and I looked down at him looking up; it was like the sadness in our eyes suddenly lined up against each other like the two sides of a magnet.

“But it’s yours that’s cruel,” I said. “Sometimes it’s loud, like mine. Sometimes it’s loud, like the gunshots at Valley Forge, like the fireworks overhead tonight. Like the tires screeching to a halt. And just when it has kept me company and sung me to sleep, it grows quiet. It’s like my ear is pressed against nothing, like I’m burying my face against air. And just when I’ve found my own background noise, my own steady rhythm, it starts beating again.”