IF I HAVE A BODY, LET IT BE A BOOK OF SAD POEMS

i keep listening to a song by tom odell called “grow old with me.” i am hung up on the enormity of that kind of project, of asking someone to architect a livable world with you. what a blessing and a curse!

last night i hooked up with a man who insisted he was 42, but i suspect he was older given the soft and mournful and reckless ways he met my body with his. it was 9 pm and we were making small talk and he told me a story about how a relationship of his had started and ended at the same ski resort in france. he recently returned to that resort, and was caught unawares by a wave of memories about his ex-boyfriend. today, he lives alone in a houseboat, unwilling to disappear completely in another body. i wonder how he could have expected anything but the past that is never just the past [1] to haunt him. i wonder if that is why he wanted to sleep with me last night. i wonder if that is why i invited him over in the first place. i should have said: i don’t have it in me to transform you.

if i have a body, let it be a book of sad poems. i mean it. indigeneity troubles the idea of “having” a body, so if i am somehow, miraculously, bodied then my skin is a collage of meditations on love and ontology and shattered selves. ok yes, i have been reading a bit of psychoanalysis lately. forgive me. i am desperate. desperate to figure out how someone like me is still here. if i know anything, it is that “here” is a trick of the light, that it is a way of schematizing time and space that is not the only one available to some of us. maybe i am not here in the objectivist sense. maybe i am here in the way that a memory is here. now, ain’t that fucking sad and beautiful?

[1] This formulation comes from Christina Sharpe, In The Wake: On Blackness and Being (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016).

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