When I was younger, there were three things I wanted: a touring metal band, published books, and love. Of course love. I wore my bones open to the marrow reaching for the first two–by now, the marrow’s long gone; I replaced it with something, I don’t know what–anti matter and obsession, probably. Because the books and metal I’m still reaching for. I’m close–my band’s readying to release its second album, touring’s in the future and once my wordslaves finish eviscerating The Dream Tree, I’ll find the both of us a literary agent.
But love. I never really tried for love. Oh, I yearned for it. Hel, it resulted in (twitch-worthy) poems like this one:
You weren’t just a voice in Her skull—
You were an existence, so real
You spun in her dream like an owl’s head.
Once, Your eyes were bright with havoc
and once they were feral and dark.
Once, electrified emerald.
Your jaw was razored ice,
You hid your smile in shadowed vines.
Your grin cleaved hearts.
You ran barefoot through the mud.
You roared of galaxies and dread,
how You were never of this world.
She is in love with You,
the one thing She’ll never admit to owning.
But the thing is,
You don’t exist:
Your mind removed.
You have no navel,
You are naked, embedded.
you will be
the glance over her shoulder.
Smell the fear in this thing? Sure, there’s knowledge in the poem–a simple sort: I knew what I wanted in a lover, but also that I couldn’t define them, that whoever I ended up snaring would be like nothing I’d ever imagined–for better or worse (in the end, some how I lucked out with ‘for better’). Only, there wasn’t any snaring. I didn’t have the spine for it. Instead of hunting love, I watched it, I let it pace in my throat, just beyond my vocal cords (I made no attempt to stretch them–hel, after an excruciatingly, awkwardly long pause, Cavan had to ask me So, uh…do you feel the same way?, had to drag my feelings out even as they tried to scramble back down my throat. Even though he’d just told me he felt exactly how I wanted him to. Teeth-pulling for lovers.). I had reasons for my romantic-lethargy, some of them–most of them–good: I loved my art so hard, it filled me up so much, that I was willing to wait for a worthy pursuit. But for the most part, I was just lazy, full of terror and excuses.
In the end? I found my feral metalhead. He’s problematic, he’s beautiful, aggressive, silly, stubborn–you know. Human.
And some days, I feel undeserving (no I don’t, I’m too selfish for that). I wanted love, didn’t chase it, but got it. Yet, yet, the touring, the books–the things I’ve worked for, the things I deserve–I don’t have.
But no one really deserves anything. Fairness is a construct. Give what you can to your fellow creatures, feast on what little you leave for yourself. Keep pushing yourself until all you have is embarrassing love poems and obsession in your bones. Maybe in the end, that’s all marrow has ever been for me: drive.