Return (Braided)

 

Your profile was simple, almost empty, your pictures plain and little, non-descript but the right shape, the right symmetry. The blurb to describe you said only, “No no Asians please,” and under ‘Likes’ you had written “hate crimes,” and “smoking crack”.

“What’re you up to tonight? Wanna meet up?”

“Sure. Where are you.”


****


Time's looped in a cycle and it's all me

slash I'm one with everything

and if I surrender to myself,

to You,

to everything,

then time can continue, but insofar as I have an identity, insofar as I stop breathing, insofar as I climax and cling to my self,

time loops

and I

relive

the same

moment of anxiety and suffocation. Only if I truly surrender can time continue

BUT insofar as I will myself to surrender, I retain control and consciousness and fail, a lack of surrender.

Only through non-conscious surrender, sublime surrender, just breathing and being,


time continues.


****


It was a hectic few weeks for you. I could feel your anxiety almost constantly and could hear your sighs in the morning, groans in the evening.


Your night terrors came back. You would scream, and scream, grabbing onto me, pushing me around. I responded calmly, “It’s me, Aron. We’re in our bed. Everything’s okay.” In the morning you rarely remembered. Or maybe you did, now that I’d mentioned it.


It was a dream-come-true in a sense, starring in a play, a critically and technically challenging play, and directed with warmth and passion in a school of repetition and being present. But some things went wrong, as they will, and some people were frustrating, as they can be, and your new job went sour, as some do, so you were applying for other jobs and doing trial shifts while performing with all your juices nights after nights in a row.


****


We didn’t have sex that first night. We leaned on each other, watching a crude kids show made for adults and feeling alive. You said you might like me and so didn’t want to have sex. That felt right. You drove me home.


For the first couple months, we didn’t have sex. We got tested together and once our results came back, we had sex. At first it was hard for me, as, in a sense, you were my first. But after a while, I got used to it, and then I started to like it. By that point though, years had passed, and I think you were already pretty over it.


****


So I get down on the dirty and wet pebbly ground of the beach and I breathe and breathe and breathe and breathe and someone

(and breathe)

walks by

(and breathe)

and I

(and breathe)

am lying

(and breathe)

on the ground

(and breathe)

and it's a test

(and breathe)

from god

(and breathe)

and if I

(and breathe)

can just be there

(and breathe)

without thinking

(and breathe)

without trying

(and breathe)

without writing a poem

(and breathe)

without narrating withouts

(and breathe)

without caring

(and breathe)

that these strangers

(and breathe)

will see

(and breathe)

me lying

(and breathe)

on the ground

(and breathe),

then (breathe) time (breathe) can (breathe) continue.


****


I had never really seen you act before. Now I have twice. I had bought tickets for a third show in between but my grandmother passed so I had to fly away for the funeral. I brought friends and colleagues and students to watch you. I brought you a rose. (Though it was yellow.) The play started selling out. And then it sold out every night. And once it was over, you came home to me and broke up, with the same logic as our previous break-up around three-years-ago, but this time you were the one calling the shots; like your character in the play, you were the one in the role of control, and so somehow without it.


“I used to be really attracted to you. You know that. But I’m not anymore. And I don’t think I will be again.”


You start to cry and turn to me for support.


“I’m not going to comfort you after you just broke my heart,” I say, dry-eyed and too smoothly.


“Don’t you want to be with someone who is excited about you?”


“Yes…”


“…Someone who cares about you?”


“Since when don’t you care about me?”


****


We’re still living together for now. “Until the end of the summer,” we say.


“It’s expensive to move out,” you panic.

“And it’s a hassle to split our things,” I have to breathe.

“Plus, my parents like you and your family likes me.”


And, most importantly, I think we still both really care about each other.


But—

As lines, so loves, oblique may well / Themselves in every angle greet:

Our love, so truly parallel, / Though infinite, can never meet.*


****


Thoughts return,

and sometimes I get hungry, or have to pee,

and sometimes I like to suffocate upon climax, and write poetry,

and sometimes I’m even excited to return.


























Saturday, April 5th, 2014 – Gibsons, BC

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 – Edmonton, AB

Sunday, June 21, 2015 – Vancouver, BC

*A Marvellous (sic) definition of love