the truth is it probably started the first time i heard "let her cry" by hootie and the blowfish.
it probably started as soon as he put his cock in me and i said no and the tears started to tiptoe and then they started to run fast, but our clothes were off already and i guess that meant it was too late, it was my own fault for letting him take my shirt off, it was his own mistake for not being able to focus on the repeated no's and the crying. i remember his bed was broken and the new one was on it's way, i remember the dirty mattress on the floor. i can't remember his face then, just the weight of him and the way my hands felt pushing up on the sweaty sides of his hips, pushing off but to no avail. to no avail. the pushing. tiny arms. it was the way it felt to be under water when a wave hit you too hard and all this water found it's place in parts you needed to breathe. it was the way i cried no and said it over and over and the movements were fast and each one was like swallowing something that always made you sick, it was the way he came and after it was his quick movement upward and how he let the cum land on his belly, on the stubs of the hair he shaved off. how after i turned over, still sobbing hard, cradling myself in myself like those russian dolls, his face was like he suddenly realized a war was taking place and he had killed a soldier for the first time. it was how he cried after and i think he knew then because he said "i'm sorry" over and over, it was the way that still, despite all this, my heart broke and i pitied him, the guilt was there, somehow, like the beginning of rain. this has something to do with it, i'm guessing, with all of this now. me, twenty-three, 3:17 a.m., tired, writing poems about trying to love someone. i remember the smell of his house, even just the whisper of the memory makes me gag, the sound of his mothers voice and baseball on the television. i remember smelling how much he loved me in his sweat, mixed with his cologne, mixed with the way his hands were always grabbing and saying if you don't keep me i'll die, i remember the way he'd say it even with his mouth, because he did, he did love me, but a kind of love i still can't grasp - a kind of love that easily forgets not to suffocate, or something to that effect. this was one of those moments you realize how deep selfishness can run in the blood and how little i had of it, at the time. i remember leaving and that my shoes weren't tied, i ran out of his house, the laces slapping hard at my ankles for blocks, the tears and the makeup mixing and making the getaway obvious and cinema-worthy most likely. he chased me and caught up and he stopped when i did, in front of a pay phone i bet is still right there, he put his hands on his knees and bent over, panting, he was sorry, he said. come back. his tears were rolling but how could tears matter then? no, not then & not right now. i don't remember how i got home, maybe i walked. in my dreams i walk all over.
maybe it started after when i met you and we talked about nothing very intimate but you were incapable of causing pain and i could tell. you were a smart kid and an awkward love seeped out of your skin, showed up as the freckles i counted when you weren't looking.
it started when we were in that park on those benches, you were there but really it was "she sits alone by a lamp post, trying to find a thoughts that escaped her mind, she says dad's the one i love the most, but stipe's not far behind" i was thinking it, right then, and i was sipping my beer but faster than sipping and you loved me and i knew it. it probably started when i wanted to hide the cuts but have people see them at the same time, like writing something i know i couldn't show you, just putting on me instead. it started when we were lying on the cold laundry room floor in that house and i told you to sing to me and you asked me to what to sing and i told you "something" the beatles song, and you did. you fucking did. it all started because i thought you could save me but instead i swallowed your soul for you but then spit it out because, well because why? i still don't know. she lets me in, only tells me where she's been, when she's had too much to drink.
maybe it started in that dark purple room with one brick wall dreaming about you and waking up sweaty and sad, salty with tears, i lived in that room with words, the bed was big and for months and months it was the sticky words and me, the lack of you.
it could have started when i took my moms pills out of the cabinet, at 7am in the morning in my saint saviour uniform and took six of them, nonchalantly, truly it was- i can't remember the reason why, i just walked over opened the bottle and swallowed. my friends said "your pupils are so big" and i liked it. maybe it's the way the sound of paper sounds ripping, or the way it feels to sleep on a damp, moldy couch. the way it feels to hear music like you feel bruises, or water on your face in the shower. maybe it was being small enough to hear "a case of you" by joni mitchell and know there were things about the world i knew but would re-learn and re-learn and every time i did it would hurt, just like the song.
maybe i'm going too fast. maybe it started when that teacher called me worthless in front of all my classmates, or when i used the word "surreal" in an essay and she didn't believe i wrote it or could have known what it meant. maybe it started when i heard them fucking and cried all night with my little knees tucked up, knowing it wasn't pain but was it love? that feeling in my gut, the question sitting there, aching.
it probably started when my dad would pour bottles of wine down the sink and my mom would yell and sound like some ghost from an old movie i never saw so i let it get blurry instead. maybe it was there all along. i've always been a bit whimsical, prone to melancholy, i always was the one kissing my own knees, rollerblading super fast along the park side in the dark thinking about how good it was that my body was moving as fast as my thoughts, finally. finally things matching up.
but all of this is what they all say, it's happened before, it's probably happening right now, as i type this.
it's just the ones who know.
they know, the ones like me, how many times we ignore the itchy beginnings of our stories in our beds at 3:25 a.m at night and we all know how many times we begrudgingly sit up and actually put the pen to paper because the words always win, they're vicious creatures, words, like the god of abraham: no mercy.
went too fast is right though, so i'll tell you. not where it started and not where it ends but where it continues, with great effort and small sighs, with typing sounds and a love so big it might very well have grown so big it disappears, something that can contain so much it it becomes something else, quite small and broken into tinier pieces. i don't know, i was never good with physics.