I saw a photo. A man casually reclined at the prow of a small sailboat in a harbor on the Nile. The man’s easy-way was obvious. His contentment was too. His sins were not apparent. He looked uneven, as though one leg was longer than the other or that a shoulder was dislocated. But it was the slanting light of Egypt and he was in white; his shape almost blinding, like an apparition shimmering against the thin blue paint of the boat.
I saw in this photo the seventeen year old boy who took it all away from me.
After we smoked the joint, he begged to put it in. Just let me feel the softness, the wetness…
I pretended I was in another room, a room with no mirror to realize I was merely the highway he traveled. The half-forced insertion, the bit of blood—what was the spell he cast? It caused me to melt into him like softened wax.
I saw another photo. The man was with a woman. She was beautiful and the sunlight made her more so. They were at Stonehenge. The woman and the man wore colorful sweaters that seemed well-made and warm. They smiled brightly. I could only think: How thick are his memories and do they penetrate bone?
There was another photo from Istanbul, but I do not want to remember it.
I bore the death of a child. I bore the death of a child. How many years of have I lived in hope for the one day to execute my hate? But all the fires I set are doused and forgotten. My hate has worn to a pebble; I have thumbed it so much.
The light in this room is like tea or rust. The scent of patchouli and orange cloys. The man in the colorful sweater, smiling with all the energy of a sun, persists even with my eyes closed.
I step into the bath. Hot water reddens my skin. I mouth the word ‘release’ and cry without sound. I swallow the moon so it will never rise again.