There are times when I am very good at picking fights, at breaking things that were whole before I tried so hard to fix them. My hands start trembling so hard that to be near me is to gain a hairline fracture. I move along the line of dark-haired men that rule the houses of my fortune and I do my best to send them running: the angel in the library, the skeleton in the dark, the brother in my house, the brother in my father’s house– I go to them in tears and come out worse. I cloy and I cloy and I grate the bones of all their patience. To be a hysterical woman, yes, that of course is the worst sin against myself I could commit. Letters pouring from my lips like blood, if I could draw them back and burn them! But the one that I am when I am would not. There is always some more damage to be done. 

“You’re a whore,” he said, in a dim basement. He said it again, a different man, in a smoke-filled apartment, windows blank unto the night. “A woman of nerves,” he said, as we sped through the desert. She was starting to bleed everywhere and she said “you, you only keep people around to justify your emotions,” and I said, “so do you.”

“Bigmouth strikes again,” she quoted, and it was true. 

But please, at least give me this: I am a kinder woman now than on that night you made her pull her panties on and find her car keys and take you to my house, so you could lie to me about where you were and hold my shuddering body. I still can’t sleep most nights, but I am a kinder woman. 

Mostly I just feel worn thin. I stare at my white hairs in the mirror and I think, if only the winter were not so cold. If only you were not so far away. If only I were instantly forgiven, if only I could choose what to forget. But oh, I am such a talented ruiner.

How many days until your small hand joins mine in the ship of my bed? The slow approaching coastline of my life calls out to you, the sound of the wind on the sea.