werewolf

Keep Art Alive :: “Werewolf” :: Art by Sarah Joncas

Your Jacket
(by me)

I wore your jacket today.
Not that you care, not that would remember.
No, this is not coffee ground bitterness,
or innocence wrapped in wolf clothing.
maybe something more like dark chocolate bitter,
with that after-clinging taste of sweet,
maybe.

I sometimes fool myself into thinking I can still smell you,
when I wear this,
like the years and washings and rain soaks,
and life,
would not wear anything as vulnerable as scent away.

I took your jacket on my way out,
on my way to the plane,
on my way “home”.
Well, there was nothing else I could take from you,
with me,
nothing concrete,
nothing I could hold in front of me as proof that you existed,
that we existed,
except this.

You never asked me for it back, though.
Even now,
when we brush across the water to each other,
in emails and holiday cards,
you never mention it.

The sun went down,
the streets were shining in that just-rained, slippery kind of way,
we were walking, talking,
always talking,
our language spurting out of us with steam,
maybe it was smoke,
maybe it was breathing,
maybe it was the cold night by the bay,
or perhaps it was the heat of words passing through two people who seduce each other with books  and authors,
music,
poetry,
and their egotistical views on the world.

You lit my cigarette,
you broke my sentence with your lips,
pulled me into the water,
drowning.

You drowned me then,
left me water logged,
forever seeing the love of who I belong to through dripping cloudy eyes,
like the way you see when underwater,
scuba diving,
seeing the fish swim by,
content with their life,
and here I am just watching them,
floating,
wondering when I will see dry land land.

Because of you I write more,
so, yeah,
I suppose I should say thank you for that.

You opened up this sealed vault in me,
full of passion, lunacy,
nonsensical verbs and adjectives whipping in my hair.
You let the beast loose,
but left,
left me dangling by the tendrils of too much of everything.

I try to not be reminded,
I try.

I walked this old jacket to the Salvation Army one day,
almost tossed it in the donations,
almost gave it away.

But, I am wearing it now.

Today.

And, I wonder who she is,
the one who sits and listens to your poetry,
helps to inspire the stories,
wakes up in sweat and sex and a few stray hairs in her mouth,
and you,
next to you.

I know you could never be alone.

(I want to tell her I loved you first)

I sit in my life where I think I fit,
where I love and I drive and I work and I exist.
I try not to linger on the disappointments,
or the lack.

Most nights come sleepless, silent,
just a heart beating next to me,
heavy breathing.

It is in those quiet moments that I wonder what you thought of the movie I just watched,
what your favorite cut off the album is,
the one you last listened to,
whether you think Anais really needed to leave Henry behind,
or vice-versa.

I wonder what you would think for the stability I cling to,
the defiance,
the many substitutes.

And I wonder today,
do you miss your girl in wolf clothing,
and do you ever miss your jacket?

Samson (live) :: Regina Spektor

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