The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely.
During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose.Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me.
I will never be a morning person, for the moon and I, are too much in love.
All this time
I drank you like the cure when maybe
you were the poison.
I fall in love with everything. I also hate everything. It’s very hard to be a misanthrope and a romantic.
All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.
When he offers his lips, go for his throat.
My nights are for over-thinking; my days are for over-sleeping.
I don’t know what I am, but it claws and clutches at me as if I am worth reaching.
When I make him laugh, I feel like the most beautiful girl in the world.
Emma is not a person. Emma is a place that you get stuck in. Emma is a pain that you cannot erase.
So here we are again: me being here and you being off the map and me sending it out across the wires and being overheard. You’re making me work for this—the whisper system—and that’s okay, too. I was shooting my mouth off and you called me on it and yes, it’s been the plan all along, my great invention, a place for all these voices to land, the airport of someone else’s listening.
Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.
I like the sea: we understand one another. It is always yearning, sighing for something it cannot have; and so am I.