He is a thousand images to me, none of which move, or speak, or breathe. I made him this: a shadow posed on the edge of my bed, his eyes demanding a cigarette. I can’t imagine him whole, always truncated, like we both know his life will be. Sometimes legless. Sometimes armless. Always dependent, wearing his face like a mask, his eyes asking the questions, Where are you going? Why are you doing this to me? Don’t you love me anymore?
Before there was blood in his teeth there were words, and I loved them. In his sports coat and scarf he looked like everything I never wanted. Over the years we morphed, coming closer and closer to resembling one another, until he was as gaunt-faced as disease had made me, and I was as nonchalant as his expression was, the day we caught sight of each other through the window of Lyric Diner, him outside, watching incredulously as I nursed a coffee and made faces at my own reflection, because I was alone and the coffee was so, so bad. He tells me he wants to see me again, and I like the way his hair curls over his cheekbone, wishing mine would do that, but he doesn’t know that mine is already falling out in clumps, and maybe that’s what it is, this desire to kill him, not an expression of love but of transfiguration. The act that will let me become him. That will quiet my skin at last.
This work by V. Manivannan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.