By Billy-Ray Belcourt
1. He told me he was into natives, but he couldn’t love the traumas hidden in my breathing.
2. How do you tell a ghost that it’s already dead, that its body is a fairy tale you stopped reading a long time ago?
3. What happens when wounds start to work like bandages?
4. One time I slept with a man who looked like he was dying. Each time his body found mine it felt like he was collecting fragments of it. It was as if I were an elixir, a potion that could extend his life if he just took me long enough.
5. Sometimes love feels like vanishing, like taking apart pieces of yourself and giving them to someone who can’t use them.
6. He was native, too, so I slept with him. I wanted to taste the same histories of violence that I couldn’t get rid of with mouthwash. I wanted to smell his ancestors in his armpits, the aroma of their decaying flesh, how they refuse to wilt into nothingness. I wanted to touch his brown skin, to make a kind of friction so complex other worlds would emerge in our colliding.
7. What happens when ‘decolonial love’ becomes a story you tell yourself after he falls asleep?
8. He was my own kind of drug: the more I used him, the better I felt; the worse I felt.
9. I tell him: you breathe us, we are in you, look at the blood on your hands.
10. Sometimes not loving is the most radical thing you can do.