I am difficult to love. I’m not certain where in adolescence this particular belief developed, only that it remains. I can be cold, prickly, given to pushing away the people I love best, in the vain hope that they’ll come back saying, “No, I love you more than you love you, I’ll stay.”
This is just to say. I don’t remember much of the last three winters. When I’m depressed my memory excavates vast blocks of time that melt down into empty space. It’s like how they used to cut ice into big clear blocks and sell it. I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox. After I turned twenty a weird thing cracked open in my brain and began to grow deep roots. At my best I go entire weeks without its influence; at my worst I feel bloodied on the inside and given to bouts of self-destructive behavior. I collapse at last into bed at the end of a disgusting run of excess and don’t shower for days.
I’m aware that self-excoriation isn’t pretty. My self-hatred is the worst thing about me. And which / you were probably / saving / for breakfast. Scared of my own darkness I want to be the most generous lover, the most devoted friend, but I worry I’ll be unmasked for the fraud I believe myself to be.
A memory: Chris and I are in bed and he asks me something—I don’t recall what. My answer is dark. When he’s at a loss for words in response, I ask him, “Why do you ask what I’m thinking if you can’t handle what I’m going to say?”
He answers, after a moment: “I consider myself an empathetic person but I can’t always anticipate how tortured you are.”
It’s summer and it’s hot. I’m not sure if we had sex before or after that moment. The moment is all I remember from that night. Forgive me / they were delicious
I am, at times, a creature composed entirely of selfish moods. I’m small and I claw at myself. I’m a burr in the throat of a beautiful bird. I feel it descend as a dense miasma. I feel I have become fragments.
When glass is described as crazed that means that it’s full of fine cracks. In ceramics, crazing refers to that same quality in the glaze that enrobes an urn or dish. You can’t feel the crazing on the surface of an object. If you run your finger across the surface it’s still smooth. It can bear a load. It increases the fracture toughness of a polymer. In other words, crazing renders a thing more resilient.
I used to always sleep with boys who liked to describe themselves as broken beyond repair. In retrospect, this is humorous.
Crazing, though beautiful, is considered to be a fault in the glaze.
Or there’s a Japanese technique of pottery repair called kintsugi. When a piece of ceramic breaks, you’re to mend it with a mix of gold dust and lacquer. You repair the broken thing but you don’t hide the wound. The history of the broken object remains on its surface. It is legible.
Every tattoo I’ve ever gotten I got because I was happy or I was sad. So sweet / and so cold. Happiness is not a thing you earn or deserve. I wish I could explain it.