I Am Trying to Break Your Heart Etc ...

Painting: Picasso's Blue Room

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart for No Good Reason Other Than I Feel the Need to Get Back at Someone in the Same Way You Used Me As Your Emotional Scratching Post

Because I had no face left to see the day just a pillow against the wetness of my nose and animal crackers in my teeth

Why did I say I loved you after we got off the roller coaster and you found my keys in the bushes I said I’d move to Alaska with you—what was I thinking I avoid snow and bears and small airplanes

Just because I cooked eggs for you and flew home with you when your father died stayed in a hotel with an empty pool don't think —

Have you noticed how cold my ribs had become it's because my bouncy blow-up house was growing brittle

I was starting to live more in my pelvis and toes up in my larynx and then one week after you couldn’t drive me to the airport or ask me over when my power went out I returned to my bouncy house and it was dark and no fun and I was lonely and I wore my old jeans and a baggy shirt even tennis shoes—even to work!—I had animal crackers for breakfast two days in a row and went to bed at 8pm

There was a pin pricking at some intestinal location and it hurt I tried wearing mascara it still hurt I tried running ten miles before work it still pricked pricked away now at my kidneys

I went to the blow up house and it had turned into tin it was dark you were lying with your back to me it was the way we slept each on our own side of the bed I lay awake all night willing you to turn your big body over and spoon me claim me I woke up without sleeping

It was going to be a long day

At the gym on a Saturday night swimming in a dim lit pool with a retarded man splashing away
An old Korean woman brushes her hair in the Jacuzzi I tell her Not in the hot tub she nods at me nods and nods as I point at her brush

Because I don’t answer the phone instead listen to old Carol King albums I watch movies about musicians who chain smoke I think about buying some cloves

I stop reading stop writing stop smiling at the coffee girls I wear red I swim faster slapping hands with lane mates I listen to Bob Dylan covers

My niece and nephew ask me what words we used to end it

I have CDs they’re used they’re yours the sun comes up like any other day I have a face to see it my eyes are dry there are petals growing on some winter trees: pink, sweet

I am pink sweet you never tasted it I am here stirring tomatoes and sausages with a fire popping and snapping with a friend on her way over I wish it was you I’m glad it’s not

What does it mean this twist of fate

It means nothing it means I didn’t sleep enough it means I ate too much at dinner it means another lover across town is watching his girlfriend cry and one day I will hear about it—

Saturday morning I get up for swimming I want to stay home in bed reading Joan Didion instead I show up late there are wet happy faces

I pull myself through the chlorine butterfly to the far side of the pool back and forth back and forth there is light some kicking
blues and greens shimmer curtains open windows rise streaks of sun wave at me from the watery floor I am warm again.