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A Perhaps Hand

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There was a poem by Cummings—about spring—how it touched and placed and moved, adjusted here and there without breaking anything. He was like this, that certain careful precision, aligning chaos in perfect lines that would fall in such a jumble.

I remember the feel of his hand in mine, on the roof, the warmth of it, the smoothness of his skin, so soft for a man who did such rough things. A man who had never done a day of ordinary work in his life, never toiled in a field, never felt the crust of grime under his fingernails. So clean he was, so pure and pristine, like platinum and lightning. His mind was the sharpest scalpel, tinged with a mere whisper of blood.

There is an elegance to blood spatter, an elegance to it that only he would appreciate.

I wonder if he liked Pollock. Would he have understood the deconstruction? The way that life could flow in such chaotic and loose ways, did he understand how to flow with the gravity, with the falling?

Is that what he tried to teach me at the end—how to fall? How to let go?

The chaos scares me sometimes.

I am not afraid of uncovering it.

I am afraid I will get lost in it.

And never want to return.

I wanted to tear my skin off at times, when I first heard his voice(s) calling to me through the static, lilting and light, tear out of these straining buttons and this strict Belstaff and let myself unravel.

He taught me that. The beauty of unraveling. I would have let him peel away each layer of my body, down to my very DNA. Peer into every platelet and synapse, every thought sheathed in my nerves. Wind the strands of my self around his fingers and pull me apart until there was nothing left. He would have taken apart my atoms if he could.

No one has ever seen me like that before.

No one will ever see me that way again.

I wish I had seen him sooner. Perhaps we could have stripped each other down, removed the right number of protons and electrons so we would no longer be like magnesium and water, flaring in explosions every time we touched.

If only I had known he was there. So long ago. In the chlorine shadows.

We were only children then.

Would it have mattered?

Do you have any idea what it is like to look at someone else and see yourself standing before you, your inverse and your parallel? Do you know what it is like to find your soul walking outside of you, only with hair a little straighter and eyes a little darker and voice a little softer, but your hearts beating the same?

I thought the only conversations I could have with myself were inside my own head.

How heady to have two of us in the world.

How dangerous.

I would have let him have everything.

If only he had stayed. If only I had seen.