“We all need to look into the dark side of our nature – that’s where the energy is, the passion. People are afraid of that because it holds pieces of us we’re busy denying.” – Sue Grafton
I. In a parallel world, the sun humanbathes.
I walk the streets of Ayala at night and see festive light-spattered pedestrian islands in all its vulgar glory. Maybe it’s magical, I wouldn’t know. I’m just thinking of ways to shield myself from the filthy seasonal coupling reflex.
Standing stiff on a sidewalk, I steel my lips for another drag. The tangerine tip burns to my every inhale like a fight to keep it lit, keep it alive as it makes me more dead on the inside. Ashen clouds swirl in the dark and it all feels cold, all brazen to the skin. But I don’t let it prick, the overture. I won’t let you prick me. We can’t all be blunt refusals and shivers to the touch. Sometimes, equal fireplay is all it takes to extinguish the blow.
Cut to the bus ride home. I am but a speck in a seabed of red flickers lining EDSA on end – one in a stack of frustrated souls trapped inside carriages stuck in infernal suspension. Is there hope in our infinity when we’re getting nowhere and heady all the same?
II. In a parallel world, the tides pull on the moon.
If they call a group of crows murders and ravens conspiracies, would you call my dating track record mistakes? If they had you cloned to a billion, what would the collective name be? Would you hold it against me if I say euphoria? A euphoria of you sounds just about right – least to me, it does.
I think it’s unfair to call mice mischief when all they ever really wanted is to get their slice of cheese. It’s morning, half past tardiness, and I ruminate on that thought as a gallon of cold coffee run through my veins. I can’t tell what’s making my heart race anymore. What I’m sure of is I could take all the hyperthinking, fatigue, and overstressing – so long as there’s you to look forward to.
III. In a parallel world, the stars make wishes on our dying lights.
Me and, well, most of my friends, don’t get religion – which says a lot about the company I keep. There is a higher being, yes, but the overzealous tarnish the whole thing to a point where it all seems contrived. I remember the conversation I had with Julienne the night we talked about the self-righteous.
“In Catholic school, I learned that there’s four kinds of prayers. You’ve got Thanksgiving, Confession, Supplication, and Adoration. My issue is with the last. Frankly, I don’t get all the devotion! What if I wanna be adored as well? Did anyone ever think of me!” my peacock vanity whined, the alcohol disrobing all my tact. Julienne looked at me, shook her head and said “You’re going straight to hell, you fucker.” I smiled and we happily drank the night away.
Blasphemy could be me wanting the adoration of thousands. But heresy is me imagining my tongue circling the crevices of your form, my lungs breathing sacrilege to your loins, your skin crackling, at the currents my poetry generates. And you’re left gasping for air as I run my cheek on the back of your treason, my sin, this sin, your sugarcoated sweat before it burns bitter on my tongue and we are licked dry by hellfire like the demons that we are.
Out of the triad that is Aristotle’s appeals, I like using pathos the most. As a method of persuasion, it appears to be the most malleable, most cunning if you may.
“The problem with you is that you’re too in love with your lines,” I think to myself as I go through my drafts. There’s always gonna be you, and there will always be me. And between the two of us, there will always be a premeditated blame game aka the pointless word toss aka this has got to stop, the break-in will never justify the fallout and you’re getting in too deep that I can’t carve you out of my skin without causing me to bleed.
I sleep at night thinking this could be a product of my atonement, the binding spell of poetry and porn, or creepy pasta and porn, Mayer and rain, Cullum and coffee, Bareilles and uncertainty – all the formulaic maneuvers I use to appeal to someone’s pathos.
“The problem with you is that you’re too in love with your lines.” You are that line. Euphoria. And this is sacrilege. You taste of danger. The hunt for the next sin. Like I’m shaking and I can’t get enough of your high. I’d have sealed things sooner, consumed the fire wrought by the friction, the spark we ignite – if only it were up to me.
But with how things are, seems like in a parallel world’s the only place
I’ll ever be allowed your lips.