I couldn’t see you yet. You were right next to me, so close, eye-atom, unfathomably close, but I couldn’t tell.
Pin-prick portal to yourself, you could be seen only through you…
So when you appeared, (terrified of losing u that moment) I looked as hard as I could, nailing you with my gaze; arrow, I fell, exhausted in the wound of your being.
Coreoplastic magnet, I looked even closer and noticed you weren’t you: zooidic kisses sticking flesh to ribcages, and floating in nothing! But you were always more than you: a teardrop that was a rose that was a blade, a body, a city… your reality was ours, mineral, emerald, “diamond- rose-mine.” So faithfully I carried you that you didn’t seem like what you were, shrinking always from yourself, burning space-time worm. Eyelet opening into new day, waterfall falling on yourself, smiling-dummy-child-running-fire, shining like a whale turning in an immense ocean of night.
And my gaze would go plunging down, drowning in days permeated by your absence. How many days spent thinking you’d gone for good? Gray dragons limbed, withdrawn bodies I’d traced.
And then the sound of armor falling from your body. Sleak silver dog-shield that is the weight/parade of everything that isn’t you, falling from you: curvature of your zero-face: a wing (your living wing): falling toward orion’s fire, sheer pull of the future (you are your own futurity, grace nested in yourself, curled up in your “own foolhardiness”).. machine of your dying away, always child of something, child of your own withdrawnness.
And how many times I became confused by a new voice that sounded like hail, feculent, meat, gravity, kisses, nothing. “How could I paint you without the colors you’d given me?” I thought. But you were the stuff that all your non-stuff was floating in (the husk I once called u): diagenetic blood mineral running through objects negated with names (u always survive your name).
And the silvered afternoons, the light of hands and forehead, your weight cementing my consciousness like massive pillars holding up highways to you: pastel in the dusk-light, rendered in your own distance from yourself, behind your bridges, aggregate horizon, clear ruby vitamin of my own becoming, glimmering in the gray ash of event/ throes of our impact, and still even further, again I can hear:
the sound of armor falling from your body, so far away from yourself this time, so clear…”
– Elysia Crampton