Exiled by Ioannis Lachanis | Facebook | Etsy Shop
Ten blocks from your dorm room we fed each other fruit
blindfolded. I don’t want children and neither do you; we are
comforted by this shared selfishness. For Halloween we dressed
as skeletons because the costumes were on sale. We were moths
dancing in the light of street lamps. You quoted Lucille Clifton
and I giggled—forgive me. I felt it too. If time machines are
invented in my lifetime, that’s where I’d go back to. I wouldn’t
laugh. I’d grip your hand the way a dying mother grips a rosary
and we’d breathe in perfect synchrony. Beneath the high arches
of your Catholic church I asked you twice if you believe in Hell
and twice you said yes. Twice my stomach twisted like ribbons
in a parade. I would never go back to this moment.
What I remember of that day: a tree with leaves so large that
they might have been the fingerprints of God. A fly so big it
looked like a bumblebee. A touch so light I was worried it never
really happened. And my reflection, so small in stained glass.
Like Lucille Clifton said: we will leave these rainy days.
We are here, undressed and undeserving. Unknowing.
I lift both my hands high and we stare in radical amazement
at the course beginnings of armpit stubble and the gentle edges
of skin discoloration. I think of my body. A womb that begins
and ends with no purpose. Palms that will never touch a man’s
the way Eve’s touched Adam’s. A mouth that will always be
too much. Nothing biblical in this. More the flood than the
ark. More forgiven than forgiver. We are both the serpent
and the tree at the same time; we lead each other to what’s
forbidden: us. Every day is the day of creation. And this
love we grip with clipped cellist fingernails: a glorious red apple.