If a Body, Catch a Body

 “And when at last you find someone
 to whom you feel you can pour out your soul,
you stop in shock at the words you utter—
they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble
 from being kept in the small cramped
dark inside you so long.”
-Sylvia Plath

We fill silence with pointless conversation because we are too scared to speak any string of the truth. There’s always that do-I-say-what-I’m-thinking tension hanging low in the air, crawling around, whispering in our ears, say it, say it; but we can’t because our mouths can only form fragments of sentences that don’t make sense except in deranged thoughts.
Every time I look at you, I wish I could just say it, throw the truth out of my mouth and let it pool in the middle of the room. But then, you say something or laugh or roll your eyes or look away, and the words I wanted to let loose die on my tongue, a lost opportunity, a lost truth.
It’s funny how we look each other in the eye and see the lies, intent hiding behind indifference, chains holding us back from the curdling truth. But we never say a word. We ignore it, let it brew between our souls and cross our fingers that the hunger will boil, explode, blurt the things we’ve needed to say but were too cowardly to voice.
There’s a certain way we address our needs without actually speaking a word, brushing fingers against each other sitting on opposite ends of the bed, faint smiles flashed at each from across the room, a roll of eyes, a straggling breath, anything to keep the electricity at bay. Sometimes I wonder if only I feel this strange hyperactivity, electrons - or something like that- bouncing between us, charging through me, every cell in my body alert, sensing your presence nearby, eyes fixated on anything but yours.
But, of course, you look at me, and I think Goddamnit I am so whipped, you smile and I roll my eyes, I wish I wasn’t so weak, you laugh and I curse, I wish I hadn’t met you because none of this would be happening if I just hadn’t walked into that cabin, climbed onto that bunk and been selfish enough to ignore the stench of someone needing to be saved. 
Out of nowhere, I crashed and met the silence, its hum beating against my racing heart. It made me numb, mountains rising on my arms, legs, neck. I tried to avoid it, filled it with talk about anything and everything, Did you know a snail can sleep for three years? Every word I uttered masked a desperate need to just say three words: I need you.
And I still do, after all these years, I still tell lies, hide behind unspoken fears, I still talk for hours about nothing in particular and I still think say it, say it, but I don’t because with every second that passes, you’re another step away.  It’s late and you’re gone, another face in a crowd full of cheats.
I look for ripped stockings and oversized sweaters,  I stumble through swarms of bodies, letting them engulf me in their warmth, hoping I’ll crash into dashing black eyes and maybe that lopsided smile. I rip through yellowing pages, retracing your fingers scanning the drooping ink, muttering the words, your voice confused with mine.
I glare at empty ceilings concealing empty promises we snatched, fingers quivering, calling it our dream, our future: one day baby girl, we’re gonna be famous, we’re gonna write and write and when they ask us why we write about darkness and broken hearts and lost souls, we’re gonna tell them the truth, that’s when we drop the lies. I grip onto any hope that you remember me, that you hesitate whenever someone mentions love, that you think of me: an awkward giggle, a color, a song.
It’s late and here I am, thinking about walking into cabin 2F, climbing on to the second bunk just across from the woman sleeping with shoes on. I wish I was selfish enough to not try to save the girl with wild eyes who talks to strangers on the train. 


1 comment