Words that build and shine and kill.

do you want to know how i live well i will tell you i live with a small cat in a small room and there are things not mine in a corner and there are things not mine in another corner and i do not remember what is mine and what is yours or what is trash the boxes bags all look like they could still be mine or someone else’s or yours

do you want to know how i talk i will tell you i use too many likes and i use too many ums and my hands attempt to keep stationary because that is the surefire sign that you are a WOP says junior-high voice inside and yet they can’t so they strangle each other often like little murderous birds or hide gnomelike under my chin

do you want to know how i think well i will tell you i think all over the place i think in a big tomato sauce mess and everything stains and i forgot the bleach again things jumble together and what i remember from last night i also remember from three days ago from a month from last year from when was that i don’t remember when that was and there are the darker times the times in which i doubt myself and beat myself up for never having enough time to do the thousand things i want to do with this life before i remember to just breathe

do you want to know how i touch well i will tell you when i am not afraid to touch i hug and hold and i smooth rumpled hair and gently grab an arm or a shoulder and on occasion i have been known to brush knuckles against a jawbone or reach for a hand or press my fingertips along a spine but when i am afraid i am somewhere else and no touch can reach me so i do not think to touch i just float away and away

do you want to know how i love well i will tell you i love with the edge of a knife of courtesy i love with the thickness of velvet and the transparency of glass and the strength of spiderwebs i love with furlined gloves i love with red wine held over the tongue i love with sunlight through eyelids and i love with the moonglow on black stones i love with a secret just about to be whispered into your ear i love with a cautious stride on a cold night i love with a brick to the temple and i love with an ice cube down your sternum but most of all i love with the space between me to you right before there is no space at all

© 2003 Halsted Mencotti Bernard

8 Responses to “Words that build and shine and kill.”

  1. podle Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Magnificent. Thank you.

  2. serenavalentino Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 6:21 pm


  3. ohjolielaide Says:
    September 20th, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    I read the first bit and I thought, This isn't the Darren punctuation I know. Curious. I got to the second part of this and thought, You're not a WOP, dude. What gives? (I am, so I can say that.) At a certain point, I realized (must be the sheer loveliness of the rhythm here) that it must be your girl. And I scrolled down and saw that it was.
    And then I thought of Glenn Danzig and how rad it's going to be when we all through undies at him on Dia de los Muertos, and how I'm not even going to try to make the dottore keep his shirt on. Heck, I may lose mine myself. And I felt all kinds of fondness and wished we were all out to breakenheims right now.

  4. ohjolielaide Says:
    September 20th, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    It might be even better to throw undies. Not sure.

  5. FunkyPlaid Says:
    September 21st, 2007 at 8:45 am

    You're so wonderful. You write like you speak, which warms me to you immensely.
    I'm glad you enjoyed this piece, which utterly undoes me every time I read through it. This is the perfect snapshot of who she is, and I think it says everything in the world about why I'm never going to be apart from her again.
    Also, BREKKENHEIMS! Soon?

  6. lady_in_satin Says:
    October 12th, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    That girl is a keeper, sir.

  7. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 12th, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Well, seriously. That's what I'd been telling you for years, now. 🙂

  8. silvermoon7 Says:
    January 3rd, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Wow. absolutely stunning.

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