The Woman I Am Not Supposed To Know

I sleep, so as not think about you. Like running into shadows, escaping the eye above, doing anything, anything, anything to get away. All manner of distraction, every denial you could imagine, keeping secrets from myself so that they do not spill out in front of you. Every kind of logic. Because, because, because, …

Because it cannot be, can it, my love? So much in the way, all that baggage, all those excuses, so much fear and habit and not knowing if this is what it is. You can’t. Won’t. Never promised me a thing.

I should take this raiment of silk I would drape around your shoulders and tear it to shreds. If I was any of kind of man I would walk away, drift away, quietly, nobly, almost imperceptibly from the woman I am not supposed to know. She would not even know I had gone, her life would go on, and I would just … get better.

I don’t know what you see, my love. You can guess, I’m sure. How can you not notice the blood? How can you not tell that it is hard for me to breath around you? But you have warned me, I know it. You have your life. You might not like it but you’re not about to change. Not now. Not for me. Not for the dream of another us.

Only in idle fantasy will I kiss you. Only there … such blinding tenderness.

So I’m drinking. Killing, killing. Tearing up this sudden flurry of flowers. Smoking. Drowning. Scratching around for the kill switch, severing all the threads I can. All because … because I know it’s right. It’s wrong, unquestionably wrong, and no amount of loving will ever change that.

You believe in stars. I do not – but still the planets never aligned for you and me. That first smile, that light in a room full of darkness, those obvious signs, they mean nothing if they run parallel. We walk alongside eachother but our hands, though outstretched, cannot puncture the divide.

You knew this right away, didn’t you? So much more real than me.

I have this unpragmatic love, like a burn. You have such beautiful hands, such alabaster skin, such imploring, imprisoned eyes. I sit across from you, swallowing, playing the game to feed on atoms of you. I try to think of a way to speak that will not make you get up and leave. I search for a miracle in the breaks between breaths. But no. A polite half hour and you kiss my cheek as you always do.

I stay awake, so as not to dream of you. I cower in a world that’s real, bandaging myself with platitudes, wounded, bleeding to set you free, hoping I will turn a corner one day and not see you there.

This is me getting up from the table, looking at you, closing my eyes on you. One last photograph. A final outline. Oh Lord – please burn it into me, let me come to know her at last, this woman I am not supposed to know.

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