The only song I've ever heard about losing my virginity is Shadowplay by Joy Division. I'm listening to it on repeat and feeling the slow throb of pain in my pussy you left behind when you took it, that radiates into my abdomen where your children grow inside me. Last night, I talked to Bonnie about wanting to kill you. One day, Adam, we might experience everything two people can together, all at once, with your cum spilling into me at the same time.
No, you can't fuck ghosts. But a shadow, Adam? Can you fuck those?
Ian is a girl tonight, with me, and he is staring up at the dark ceiling next to me, and we both know your name. The first thing he tells me, is how the loss of virginity, the surrender, is a violation made due to ignorance.
He's smoking a cigarette and he's got the sleeves of his shirt rolled back. It's a gunmetal gray that toys with blue and his hair is flat, slicked to his forehead. His voice is soft and low and his eyes are brimming with tears.
Adam? There's no way I could know, when I tell you I want you inside me. I don't know what it will do, or what I will feel, or how I might love you after. I don't know the impact, I CAN'T know the...the impact. God. I'm never going to be the same after this. You're going to unlock some darkness inside me, and I'll be left thinking of you as...some....
Ian puffs smoke and supplies me with the word I'm reaching for.
"He's going to be your destination."
"All of them."
"Yes," he nods, slow. "All of them."
In the dark, I take his hand because I'm afraid, but girls alone together don't admit fear. That's something only the boy of their devotion can ever be told.
How close getting fucked feels like being murdered is a secret I think me and Ian keep between us. A man comes and puts something inside your body. In the library, I was quiet because someone might hear me, and you covered my mouth against a moan. It meant dying under you, in a dim place. Adam slips hard and hot into Evelyn, and she becomes an object of desperation in the hands of a dangerous man.
I roll onto my stomach and I look at Ian's wide eyes, round as moons, and he looks back, and doesn't blink.
"I wanted him to do whatever he wanted," I tell him. "I almost begged him to. He could have strangled me to death and I would've loved it so much. I can't..."
Ian squeezes my hand.
"Yeah. I can't be his unless he wants all of me."
We get quiet, me and Ian. He lays in the bed, and I pull a blanket over us, in our clothes. The songs ends and I switch it off. In the quiet, Ian says something I don't understand.
"There's a place inside you, where you're always a small thing."
He chokes on a sob.
"That's all it is. Climbing down into the sewers to the very smallest place. Being a virgin lives there. Everyone is a virgin when they're small enough."
"How do you lose it?" I ask him. "How do you give it away?"
He looks terrified and confused. He wipes his eyes.
"I don't know. Maybe just put that in someone's hands and say....you can hurt me....if.....if you want to."
Evelyn and Ian
I'm assuming I've read your letters in the form of my dreams. From what Adam tells me, that's how that would work.
These lights are brightly burning nightmares of an experiment they'd do on the GIs destitute enough to suck lysergic acid off a common block in rooms like this one. I wasn't given a gown, not a regulation one, and I did not fall in love. I do not fall in love with the impassioned sinkholes of vaginas tight enough to be assholes. I fell in love with her for her humor. I fell in love with her and just as I'd expected, the hallucinations started again.
I shouldn't be telling you this, but I find it more comfortable than what Adam says would happen if I didn't.
I have, wearing a black sequined evening gown, swept wishes to a fountain for the breath of spring. My desire is for the frowns so they be kept and swept away from lips so innocent. My dress and my frown and my boisterous crowd of geese ride the wave of my thigh awaiting a pluck of mine, hairs left, swaths of a mannish curse. And the lightening winks in the pendulous distance.
Corpses is what Adam titles our grind brushed in the cribbage holding patterns of the land where I called him from a pay phone. We are corpses. We are the corpses. We are the dead fucking meat, corpses, we all. If you're in luck, you're enslaved, you're in St. Paul, you're held to some Swedish jock hipster's highest standards. Do you remember what you were doing before you began this pointless exercise? Well, do you?
Hello, my name is Matthew Kettering. I know who you are. I remember you and you remember me. I noticed you did not give your last name.
I dreamed of a world of broken mirrors just as hard as when I cracked my head on the coffee table, learning to walk. I'm allowed my clenching fists pouring blood from my nails that pools at my shoes and so invisible to him, spinning angry thoughts I won't give up to him. What makes me so angry is the way he allows it. I can't make him go away.
He may not but I do. He may not but I do. He may not but I do. He may not but I do. He may not but I do. He may not but I do. He may not but I do. He may not but I do. He may not but I do.
Sincerely, I came to see you knowing you're the only one who wouldn't talk me out of what I wanted. The romantic writhing blob, they mean well but I needed release. I splintered my time and name to nothing in increments and bided it and fought it. I fought it, all that I could fight. Some I started myself and some I finished but I fought all that could be fought.
She had one picture of me and in it I was shaving. I stepped onto a platform under a bathroom sink to be tall enough to see the mirror. I shaved for the first time. This memory plays back in my mind while I shave for the first time since the last time she watched me do it. She watched me shave. She watched me shave my face. I could be an emperor. I could be a mouse. I could make a beautiful Brie with marmalade or I could be a waste. When I hear the metal on metal, I whisper I love you and it she doesn't hear it. I shaved my fucking face while she fucking watched.
Eve? Eve? Eve? Eve...
You understand I just came home from a war. I'm hungry. I'm pulling your warmth down and taking it close to me. Inside you, I breathed with lungs that can't be mine or the old ones can't, for I was changed or unchanged. Were we born without sin or was our salvation was too quick to be trusted? Whichever, I fucking don't care, because the clocks stopped when I read my name in your hand. You're a dew and spider silk adorned flower, you're the mood of a room, you're making me want to write you a poem.
Who is Livid?
I want to move my hands around your skin, not at all touching, but seeing what it does or doesn't do to you.
I might believe that being soul mates implies a certain responsibility for the other's virginity. Maybe you created mine. Maybe I created yours. Maybe, in the quiet depth below all things, we made little assignations of ourselves, to one another, like kisses, pressed to one another like medals of war.
You're innocent of any crime, because it was your innocence which drove you to commit them. Maybe I'll never be bothered by anything you've ever done, because I have this piece of you, which is inconsequential to those things. Inconsequential, because it exists below your actions or motivations, and it's comprised of a pure expression of you. Crime happens within the parameters dragons make for one another, and this is what evades those edges every time, and makes you a fox.
There's a place beneath the hedges where our creeping fingers met and I would have thought us both a weed or a vine, knowledge thick between us that twining is an act of desperation, slow and single-minded, reaching for that which with intent will be met and strengthened. Your fingers crept into mine, your fingers, they crept into mine, and we knotted together into a hedge, a dark place to recede to, a wall, an act of family, a creation of a secret, an acknowledgment of something safe.
I wanted down there. I wanted down there my whole life, I wanted to be down there, my eyes burning hot and bright in endless sun. I wanted down there, and I was not brave enough or could not have gone alone. I wanted down there, Matthew, I wanted down there into silence and strange ritual of raking dirt through my fingers and finding the importance of all I'd lost or misplaced. It was my first love, that place I wanted, the secret of it, the lost world, the place I always knew to go, my expression wide and starved.
There's something innocent about you and me. I'll stay right here, until you understand. The world is made of doors to other worlds. Some of them are dark and simple. The hedges of neat suburban homes, trimmed in the sapling spring, junipers soft and fur-like, their thorns supple, littering yellow and hard the ground beneath, breaking fast as bird bones. The dirt black, the air cold, the light dim and blue. There are doors to other worlds, where under hedges, there are windows, into basements, which push inward like your intruding hands.
The glass of each window is hazed with dirt and the water of past rain. They are webbed delicate with the work of spiders. They are rusted shut. They are levered open, they are cracked in a gentle arc.
The basements are unfinished. The floors are leaked onto from the sagging floor above. The tiles are stacked into corners, the dust is from something demolished, your jacket is torn, the door is locked. Your breath is loud and mine is quiet, but my lungs burn with the effort to control my heart and slow it down because I won't admit I'm out of breath in front of almost anyone. Your eyes are low. Mine are sly.
You reach blindly into unpainted sheetrock, dented and crumbling, and remove a small glass marijuana pipe, speckled blue, and laugh before tossing it against the cinder brick, where it smashes into bigger pieces than I would have liked.
We wouldn't have to say anything here. The butterfly wings of my spreading thighs will be the same color as the paper used to hold the drywall into place, an unpainted pale tinting flesh-toned in the damp. If we did speak, it would sound something like...
"Have you always been afraid of spiders?"
I wanted down there, I wanted down there for years after... and did I lose you? Fiercely, hopelessly, sexually, I wanted down there. I wanted you. I want you.
Thinking about this makes me feel how the angels must, about dancing. That I could never tell anyone, not out loud, what it does to me inside, to think about going out, much less going out with you. How it makes me want to touch myself, aimlessly, slowly, drawing out the sense of anticipation as long as possible, the way it feels to circle a seemingly empty room with you.
It will happen when it happens, when you reach so assuredly into a dark place, and remove a broken pair of glasses, bent out of shape and shining gold. I pet my swollen pussy with a soft finger, my knees up, mimicking the pace of my heart beat, going nowhere. My lowest secrets are always yours.
In the murder of my heart by an instrument of artistry,
I bend and suck clean from our knees
Embers burning and the land follows.
Find me and follow me.
Find me and follow me.
Baiting these machines to savvy
These war machines to a black silence
Enthralled, my heart a pinlock
Did you hear them call surrender,
When we fumbled at last to our knees?
I felt the ash,
Deep under the snow.
Nightly, I scream your name into black spaces and receive back the echo of your broken promises.
You must understand, we've always been at war. At war for our souls, against that which would ignore them, convinced of their nonexistence. You are being made to not exist, Jack, and you see it in the eyes of those you pass every day. It's a silent war, and a paranoid one. There are no words to it, but there is a quiet and distant tune. If you're still some mornings, you can hear the drums.
Hello, Jack, my name is Annik. I know your name is not really Jack, and I know you are at war, and I know you have no hope at all of knowing on which side you are really fighting. Hello, Jack. I am the voice on the radio which has never broadcast before. I am calling to you from a far-off place, behind a pane of glass small enough that I can touch it and feel it's gentle curvature. My words that continually get lost in the rushing wind of this vortex are: We can't stop this unless we choose love. Consideration. Compassion. Confrontation. Jack, do you understand we're at war? Do you understand it's over our souls?
You were right, Jack, about him.
You were right, Jack, about her.
The war kills poets, Jack. It's a meat-grinder for beauty. The guitar players of Central Park wake up early in the cold mornings to fight. The drag queens stay out late and stand guard over the sleeping world, crossing broad arms over sequined corsets and standing in murderous shoes to stomp out the paranoia that they were laughing at you; paranoia which creeps like corporeal shadows under doors and down your snoring throat.
There's an army of us, waiting under the hedges. We hear you. We are listening to your voice. They can fuck you all they want, but don't forget you're a virgin.
All my love,