Keep Art Alive :: “Christine #14 Hollywood CA 2006 :: Photography by Lisa Sarfati
“My little alibi,
time couldn’t change us,
but we tried.”
She is an afterthought, the smoky residue of too many cigarettes on a sleepless night in a hotel room now empty, the aftertaste of whiskey, vanilla, tobacco, and something unmistakably her. All that’s left is the shadows of her, the marks on the bed sheets her body made, a wrinkle in time, a time in your life that you never plan to return to.
But you still think of her in the middle of the night, waking up from a dream version, hot and trembling, your hand furiously wrapping around your sex, eyes rolling back as you recall her body, the way she looked straddled across yours, the way it felt to be inside of her. Her name lingers there on your lips as you writhe in release, but you know how this goes, a quick clean-up and then back to sleep, back to the mundane day-to-day, back to the one lying next to you now, back to forgetting her.
The last time you saw her she had tears in her eyes, hanging there, dangling on each impossibly long eyelash, threatening to fall. She inhaled a long drag on her cigarette instead, leaning in for a kiss, hesitation ripe on the pucker of her red lips. You wanted to say stop, to say stay, to say I surrender, but instead you kissed her back, biting her bottom lip slightly, the way she used to like you to, your hand on the door. You stood there and watched her drive away, words caught in the back of your throat, memory already editing the details, changing the color of the blouse she wore, drawing over the tattoo on her pale skin, re-writing the parts that sting to remember.
The morning turned to afternoon turned to years passing by, and still she lingers in the air around you, in the songs that sometimes play, and in that space between righteousness and regret. In her exhaust pipe departure she took a long look back, but you never saw her mirror reverse eyes. You were too busy resigning yourself to her leaving, the thing you always counted on, so much so that you helped to bring it to life. No matter, though, she is just your afterthought.
Alibi (live) :: Robert Francis