Études à l'étranger
Cannot dream but if possibility were
possible, you’ll find that men exist
but that’s in the preterite.
Impossible to do anything
except for what is happening now.
Now I am with only women,
a fact I am forced to reveal, and not a single throbbing phallus
that prods me out-out-out into the mirrored night
and carves in between my legs with his hands
like pottery in his apartment up the stairs of which
I do not remember being carried or taken or dragged
willingly, based on how and when it happened, which is again
in the time I made up and
anyway, it’s in the past.
Here, I drink cheap wine with women until my face turns yellow
—like my youth,
if I ever tried to talk about it—
and the nights ends when I vomit spinach ravioli all over
Caitlin’s new IKEA rug.
When a man speaks to me of possibility,
he is aware that anything can happen only
through him, as he is the vessel and I am
just a yellow girl.
You see, the plan is, if I stick my face
in these books long enough, one day
possibility will come dripping
at my doorstep, and I’ll be the one directing
where he goes,
what he does with his hands.
I will slip in and out of men
what I choose and what I do not
choose to reveal.
a study of Hungarian locative cases
Lack of movement within the interior both aggravates
and calms me. Calms as it is
unrelated to my inability to receive penetration
but rather a cultural,
people are adessive by definition.
See also: a person’s home, a place of business.
You enter me as you would a clinician’s office;
the possibility of an unexpected future
Consider the particular declension
of your departure.
When you speak of it, do you refer to it as
or do you simply say
“I moved away from her,”
taking leave in the ablative,
imparting no knowledge to the listener
of the time&space parameters
regarding our togetherness?
In this case, entrance and exit are not spatial,
nor temporal. In this case it is no threshold but
proximity itself; it is no slamming door but the decision itself.
How light the thought, to no longer be where one never once was.
I push through passport control elsewhere, to see the third man in the city I know I will not marry.
If my grandmother were here, she would tell me wash my face after I cry. She would bring out the soft cotton pads, the rosewater. She would ask, In other countries, do you keep the ugly face?
You and I have just sat down at the brasserie, and already the Sancerre blossoms dirty white on the tablecloth. A shark fin shard threatens the already-dead, sunken in your bouillabaisse.
“Mademoiselle is upset because the main course is late.” Shells of coquilles Saint Jacques slide over the wilted wine flowers. Waiters have covered the sadnesses of clientele past, it is clear. I consider bougainvilleas of Merlot, plants of wines I do not drink. The gentle pink cry of a rosé as its petals force a reveal.
Of this city, only one season remains—but who’s counting time? Across the table, an almost imperceptible flick of the wrist, a scrape of false sunlight. I do not notice that, but watch your eyes always; they are heavy, not quick like the rest of you.
My grandmother says, If what you love cannot love you, do not destroy all else. Now all that’s left is Paris in the winter, and do you know what it means to have nothing? In the midst of my extraordinary progress, her question holds no relevance. I leave it to others to wonder, to let in. To open screaming like the water roses.