White is a rewrite and a re-take on a classical fairy. This time it’s Grimmer.
She’s a slave to colour
In hot-pink short shorts.
She’s a torch.
She’s so haute-stop-drop and shop.
Her Body could break the bank.
Eyes have it.
But her smile is blank.
The parking lot is vast.
Get your game face on.
Air is ripe with tension and lurid blasts
Of gritty beats and Reggaton.
She watches girls
Wearing dusty pink shorts in corduroy.
Sucking seductively on lollis
For doll-poking boys.
Her thin tongue is piqued posey.
Curled and snapping at new kids.
The music stops, her voice cuts the noise.
In patio pearls and bastard amber jeans
Trying to be scene.
She hollers pink to the sky
“Bang, bang is how we’ll fight.”
And I’m dying to go home,
To hide under sheets coloured canopy rose.
There’s swirls of students
Rolling to their own people
A crowd of blossoms feeling Lethal
Remember mom said:
“Just go fit in with them. Listen! to what I say:
You’ll be happier that way.”
It’s bass heavy and aggressive.
There’s girls throwing out moves
Tight backed and hips loose.
Guys in watermelon high tops
Reach for the waists.
And round curves of girl youth.
They can’t take their hands off it
This is a fuschia crowd; it’s manic.
The Lolli spits out her bubblegum:
“No touch and no clutch.”
And I am a machine.
Not an in-crowd teen.
I am breaking.
I am stalling.
Head down, basic black
From the wrong-coloured tracks.
No rose, carnation, or blush tones.
I’m on a reverse red carpet
In a colour that’s shorthand
For leave me alone.
But here she dominates
Propped up by magenta heels
And sips of pink lemonade.
This girl, this pink barbie doll
Tosses her drink
And I’m the one to fall.
I’m the perfect mark.
The bad dart.
I turn and to look at a girl
Who could be as sweet as Sunday.
And remember mom’s pearls:
“Just go fit in,”
So I dial up my smile
I put that game face on
Wondering how someone in pink
In a colour so beautiful
Could grow to be
So very ugly.
I’m as blank as this page is. I want to talk to you so bad. I’m desperate! How can I lay it all out to you if I can’t even write a first sentence. How about: Let’s forget about our fight. Or let’s forget we ever happened. A lie. For the last five months you have been my shadow. A shadow inflamed with light that follows me and is a presence I have felt for such a long time. Where have you been? Where are you?
Don’t you care that I even exist? Erase that. Can you hear me screaming for you? That’s too intense, even if it is real. There are things I need to tell you.
When I turn over on my right side in bed and if the shades are up, I can get lost in the green of the pines and the drip of sunlight through the branches. I can forget again. But then I remember. My bedroom makes you feel safe, you said. You said that I make you feel safe. But now just like rabid dogs we’ve gone and cut up each with snarling words and bites.
Are we something that just happened to one another? “An amazing escape,” that’s what you said to me the last time I saw you. It was the very worst thing to say. You weren’t an escape to me from work, school or life. You were the beautiful mystery that showed up to get a coffee one morning and I don’t know if I am better for it. You are everywhere, I read your texts and maybe you arrived to teach me that I can be loved and admired. And maybe I work too hard at being loved.
Can you imagine how foolish I feel? I gave you my body, my mouth and my arms. Months out of my life, wondering the right things to say or text to you, what might please you or make you happy?
I am a real person J. Flesh, blood and feelings. I’m not a mini-hotel holiday. I told you my story the things that have happened to me and the things I’ve done to myself. I unlocked that door and I placed those secrets on your hands. I told you at New Years that I wanted real love. I wanted a man who would work at making me happy and in return he would get the gifts of good mornings and safe nights. Why did you pursue me after that?
I know we were wrong. You were inside of me and we broke whatever sanctity exists in your life. My heart is aching with trying to carry that weight and my arms have knives and I’m exhausted reaching for the phone that doesn’t ring.
I’ve raced through it all, every detail of your face from the lines between your brown eyes to how your hands torch my skin and its all interwoven into some kind of web. I’m trapped in the centre listening to you say we fit together perfectly and you love the way I looked laying next to you.
If my ears hear you are sorry one more time for leaving me in the middle of the afternoon I will blade them. Because the loneliest feeling in the world is to have someone leave you in a hotel room alone in the morning after making love to you all night.
It will be one of the most difficult things to do, to walk away from you. I knew and I know life wanted us to meet and to be together. I know you felt the same. I felt how you felt about me.
But timing was all wrong for you, and timing will never be right for you. Not the two months I asked from you, or the two years you promised to me. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life and I suffered from them. You are not my favourite one. Some people know instinctively that we can live and pursue happiness and then be the very best to our loves. And then some people lose who they are to be erased by their love. I am of the last and I am leaving. Leaving you is like losing God.
Goodbye My Love,
Hand me black. Give me clusters of dead grapes and the vanity of velvet.
I’ll give you my ceiling.
I’ll give you submission.
Are you Winter?
I’m kept on my knees in the dark.
My skin is blanched and starving for touch.
You blow fiercely into my cage
Of black bars choked by violets.
You are a storm smelling of rain and danger
To ivory-kneed school girls.
You are absolute.
You take over.
You snap fingers to control
And the blush on my cheeks
Paints my shame
For wanting something rough,
But intimate and close.
Your throat against mine.
“Mehta, I love you.”
“All of you goes to me.”
My flesh is a canvas
For your tough love approach.
A rush of red to my backside,
You paddle for pleasure.
And your hands catch
You pull my hair,
Like you could lift the universe.
Your word is rule.
Commands by gesture:
One finger up
And I beg.
Two fingers up
And I bend.
A nice ass under your hand.
My jewel pussy and ass
In full view for you.
My cheeks pushed up higher,
An astonishing fire
From your open-hand slap.
I writhe in painful glee.
Your foot on my back
“Beautiful creature surrender.”
“There’s no way you can win.”
And the harder you push it
The harder I drop.
I’m properly trained.
From the ground-up
To across your lap.
I knew you could
Tie my wrists with forceful mercy.
The look of concentration in your grey eyes
When you practice the art of binding
Let’s me know this is for both of us.
This is the feeling of rough red fabric
How it starts soft and goes quick to a burn.
How the hell did this happen?
How will this go?
Will I strain?
Will I bite into rope
While you’re inside of me?
This is what scares me.
This is how I submit
To both a man and unexpected circumstance.
My fear lights your fire.
You grow hard
And press ice up against
My rosy nipple flesh.
But it’s a vibrant fire,
It’s a raw ache,
When you push the tip of your cock head
Into my tight wet space.
If I want more sensation or drama
I can pull and yank and strain at my ties until I can’t stand it.
I can say your name and over and beg for release,
Or I can give in and explode.
Your hips buck hard against my thighs.
A real man at work.
And I am animal.
I’m passionate and creamy receptive.
I’m at a loss for words.
You tear and you tease me.
You murder my pussy
And carve your name slowly
Into my belly
Until you urgently cum.
I look down
At the stain of your name
On top of my skin.
Hand me yellow. Give me summer sun and drops of lemonade.
Make Winter go
And light my cage.
Wendy you’re losing. That’s dad’s way of saying that I’m giving up. Not trying hard enough to not feel bad so hard. He doesn’t see that it’s more of a “I’m not-feeling-anything” illness. I get out of his car and walk away from his house to the nearest park to disappear. I’m a disappearing act: I can melt into the grass with agony. I can lay still for hours unable to move for the weight of disaster inside of me.
The week is about fighting every single one of my thoughts from Monday through Friday. There’s no Sabbath for illness. Dad doesn’t get it that he’s the one who taught me how to disappear. He got angry and I got small, hiding between the legs of my sisters. And then those older legs ran and he did hurt me. I found out the fear of being hurt is actually worse than being put through it. Eventually it doesn’t hurt anymore because if you keep hurting the same part of you again and again the heart shatters. And when that happens I go numb. That’s why it doesn’t hurt. I can go numb. I can disappear.
There is peanut butter. There is chocolate cake and there is soda. But there are also bathrooms and bite marks on my knuckles. I can disappear and be in the cave where my tummy sinks in. I can disappear because that’s what I do. Boys use bad verbs around me. They don’t know that my last BF taught me how to dig and scratch into my skin. He taught me to make a map of my despair. Wednesday was when I promised to stop crying at his funeral and instead added new roads to the map. Phone calls and friends are too hard. THEY COULDN’T POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND. So what do I do? I disappear because that’s what I do.
I can’t do much but I can take words from the mouths of others. Words like failure, disappointment and despondency and swallow them so deeply that they are absorbed into every last black molecule inside of me. I’m invisible. I can go to class and do the assigned work without speaking a single word all day. Sometimes a small body can’t hold all that pain. Sometimes having an invisible illness is worse than an amputated leg.
I took a long ladder down into bottles of Percocet and Paxil and woke up on a ward my nurses named The Island of Last Resort. Twenty patients and we are all the same person in the same gown shuffling from the same art therapy lessons to the same voltage of E.C.T. treatments. Dad came and asked Why? I said it’s because I’m on the outside looking in. My counsellor came and asked why? and I said that’s what happens when life is a four-letter word. She said I had choices. There was cognitive behavioural therapy, empowerment and recovery. Her words sent light into my pain prism and exited like a rainbow. I traded tricyclics, benzodiazepines and antipsychotics for acts of kindness, daily gratitude and learning how to cope. I’ve gone from bad cop to a miracle. I’ve come from the depths of despair to learn something about the stars in heaven. Dad and counsellor say that if I can do that, then maybe someone else can too.
J: Good morning lovely. I left a coffee outside your door. It’s raining out and we should be kissing.
T: You are an aggressive kisser which means you want to taste me deep. I’d like a long slow kiss. Your tongue probing inside of me and your hands pushing down on my chest. Your weight on my body.
J: I have tasted you deep. I need to make you cum again. More than once. I loved watching you on all fours. Blindfolded and begging me. I’m allowed to kiss and lick anywhere I want. That drives me crazy. All those parts of you, the dirty parts taste and smell amazing. Your reactions and purring is unreal.
T: If you were here I’d be all over you. I’d run my tongue along your lips and my hands would want your legs. They’d knead their way up your thighs.
J: I’m so hard right now. You always make me so hard. Remember how many times I came last time?
T: When I could see you hard and bobbing in front of me. I’d lick and wet the tip of your hard cock. My big green eyes would adore you when I parted my lips to take you in my mouth.
J: I love grabbing your hair. Feeling it soft when I twist it in my fingers. I love pushing my cock down in your mouth til you are choking. And when I come deep and hard in your mouth you thank me for letting you suck my cock.
T: I love how you fill my mouth. It feels empty without you.
J: Last night, you were all I could think about. I thought about your hands touching the inside of my thigh and how my cock surges at the sight of your lips. Your hands, your arm and your elbow running up between my ass cheeks until your open them up. Your fingers thrusting into my asshole when you suck me off.. I always like the look of my cum as I ejaculate and that normally its in your mouth and throat. You love its taste so much you even lick up the cum on my stomach and the tip of my throbbing cock so you don’t waste it. I love the feeling of my asshole throbbing against your fingers when I come. I hope you do as well. I’m sorry for being so graphic but you make me graphic.
I lie in the room and there are shadows jumping on the walls. I’m tired and slightly shattered. The cell phone is dead and the new one is empty like me. No messages, not a word from you. Those shadows, I think they are the ghosts of us. Or maybe just pieces of me clinging to something solid. Maybe the pieces need some kind of surface to cling to, the way my hands gripped your chest not a week ago. I’m in this in-between land where I can’t stand you for disappearing but love you for having given me whatever pieces of you were free. I turn over in bed and then I turn around again because there’s nowhere else to turn.
My hand flies out for the phone with a speed that knocks it right off my nightstand when you finally text me.
J: I’m not sure I deserve to be ghosted. I remember you telling me you’ve done this before. Sure sucks being on the other side. Please remember that there is someone out there who is thinking of you and remembering your beautiful smile and who misses you very much. I hope studies are going well – I told you, you are so smart. Please keep writing amazing poetry. Sweet dreams.
T: I didn’t hear from you once after. My phone’s been ruined and I had to replace it, but I still did not receive anything from you. I was sad. I thought you were ignoring me. That you just wanted me for that one time. But I couldn’t understand why you’d say so many wonderful things to me if you just wanted to “F-” me.
J: Not sure what’s going on here T-. But I tried. I was so hurt when you didn’t reply. There’s something weird going on. I want to believe you but I’m having trouble.
T: I wanted to text you. To tell you what you were for hurting me. It didn’t feel right. It made me weak and silly. Then my phone was ruined and I couldn’t have talked to you even if I wanted. You’ve taken over my thoughts, racing through my mind every day.
J: I texted for a whole week. So frustrated. I was feeling so fucking crazy. Then I went away for a week w/my kids. So confused right now. I can’t believe this has happened.
T: I don’t know. I didn’t receive anything. I feel like an idiot because I fell for you. More than I knew I should have. And then it’s inevitable. You thought I was just easy or something. What happened, meeting you and everything.
J: I’m really hurt and confused. I tried endlessly and you never responded. I can’t believe you’d treat me like that. That’s what is disappointing. I can’t believe you’d think I’d be like that. I’m not some man that just wants a fuck. That’s what’s disappointing. I’m emotionally drained. I’m going to bed. To have you then lose you was traumatic to me.
I’m fleshed out
In silent corridors
You sketch my contours
Tracing the line of my arms
And my bright halo
Across the walls of the convent
My limbs ache to spread wide
In unconditional and overwhelming love
But I’m painted into a dark corner
While you painstakingly seek
The exact shade of pink
To spread over hands and feet
It’s a Florentine marriage
A blend of sinopia and white
You brush the delicacy of flesh on my cheeks
You paint arousal
You erase modesty
I’m coloured pink
Not of spirit or aura
But now of body
Now of blood
I bring brass trumpet
To petal-soft lips
And call the Saints down
But it blows silent
An empty sound
I’ve lost transcendence
I’m created to adorn a wall
You draw a bend in my knees
Like I’m about to fall
Driven by your abstract inner guide
You humanise angels
With aches in our thighs
Mouths that spill lies
In chalk of dusty rose
My pale wings
Shake and shudder in the walls
A storm of hot pink rain
Runs through my veins
And seeps through the wall of rock
You can feel the floor
Boil under feet
When I step free from
The granite walls
You will hear the crack
Of my horn
Against your skull
You’ll say your prayers
You’ll learn that this
This is what you need God for
The taupe paint and bland art on the walls isn’t me at all. At home, there are rose-coloured sheets, jasmine scented candles and small statues of Buddha to sit and cry by. I’m nervous and my knees are shaking, so I try my best to close my eyes tight and wish myself invisible. To pretend like this is just a date: a getting to know you between a gentleman and a girl. But the massive bed in the centre of the hotel room belies any pretence I can make about answering your text to meet you here. It’s covered in gray velvet burnout bedding and it dominates the room.
You are standing expectantly staring at me. You wore a dark fitted plain weave suit. It’s navy. Blue, my absolute favourite colour on you. It’s dark so unlike your skin and curly blond hair. You take up so much space with your height and those long arms and graceful wrists. Your smile says come here. And I can’t help thinking that you’ve done this before. How many times? Did they all look like me? Can’t I be the one who is different? Who may have met you at a hotel but isn’t going to sleep with you right away. But I go to you anyways and I am in your arms and against the warmth of your suit. Before I can say something awkward or embarrassing your mouth presses hungrily against mine.
“Hold on,” a second later you’ve positioned yourself on the nearest chair. You look at me and time stops. You’re studying me with brown-butter eyes and I gift you with an uncertain smile. “Take off your clothes, but do it slow.” Your order is a surprise turn. This confidence makes me wonder if there isn’t a side to you that I have no idea about. I obey because that’s what I do. I’m Uranus: my axis is tilted and I waver and bend around assertive people. There’s something about all of this. Something I crave in giving up control. It feels vulnerable, like the edges of a knife that wants to peel my back my skin to see inside but keep the fruit whole.
I’m surprised at how awkward I am about this. I spent time on you. I took two hours getting ready for you. There’s girl glee in curling hair, spraying Chanel in secret spaces and choosing just the right texture of panties for a man. It’s a ritual that speaks to the richness of life. But right now, I feel like a little girl untangling out of her school sweater. You smile when the cream blouse finally comes off over my shoulders. My plaid wool skirt hits the floor seconds later. Your hands reach for my thigh-high burgundy boots, hungry to have them off. I knew that would happen: every aspect of this outfit was calculated. “I’m dying over those boots. You need to walk on me after.”
You’ve pulled me in and now I’m impossibly naked on your lap. Your mouth is like a vacuum on my eager, naïve skin. There’s a sigh when you breathe in the scent of brilliant perfume against my neck. There’s a growl when your teeth nip the sharp edges of my shoulders. I’m starting to wonder. What will happen if we really do this? If I give you the parts of me that are sacred? You reach for the soft hills of my breasts and I smoulder. Maybe we will be reborn after all of this. Maybe our collision will leave us as planets? But wait a second –
“Stop,” I order and pull back.
“What’s wrong hon? Did I do something…”
“No, but. Just answer me honestly okay? I won’t be mad. But I need you to know, it’s not like you can just say hello and have me bend over. I want to, I need to know, how many times have you done this?”
I’m standing, almost gasping the questions out because I can still feel the fire on my skin where your mouth was.
“Never. What? You really think I do this all of the time? You have no idea. You are so beautiful and smart and I’m planning this for us, and panicking because I need you to undress for me and thinking – what if there’s no chair there in the corner of the room? Will I sit on the floor?”
I need some kind of power if I am going to do this so I stupidly mention having done something like this before. Or maybe plenty of times. It doesn’t matter because your arms are out for me again. This time, there’s no mercy. I fall to pieces as you lightly kiss from the inside of my wrists and up my arm. And then you lift my left arm and your tongue dives with hunger into my armpit. How did you know to do this? You’re tongue-fucking my underarm. You are bold, deep and demanding with your tongue and I’m a virgin ready to squeal.
This is a seduction. There’s your eyes on the curves of my ankles, small tickles and small bites there just to watch my legs shake so I almost drop to the floor. Slow-sucking kisses run up my calves and suddenly I know there’s nerves at the back of my legs. There’s no race to the finish line tonight. Your palms want the memory of every inch of my skin and edge of my bones. When your thick and muscled tongue finds my belly you trace slow circles. Its a good thing you read maps in your spare time.
Dark now. It’s dark and silent. A minute ago, you were over me undoing your tie. As fast as the bunny is pulled from hat, your tie is wrapped deftly around my eyes. Before everything goes black I can see your face go from tender with curiousity to dark with purpose. My hands inevitably reach for my blind. “Stop,” and your hand is over mine. There’s that first weird shot of panic and I feel incredibly naked and vulnerable in front of you. There’s a strange urgency here. Something that is both between us and beyond you and me. Why did we ever meet if this was not to happen?
There’s been nights across the last year I couldn’t sleep for the thought of having you press yourself against me. The real weight of your body is exquisite and feels masculine and you proudly press me deep into the mattress. My hand searches for your face and my mouth reaches for yours. Contact is fire. Stars bursting apart in our veins. Planets falling from our hearts. When our tongues first touch we both shudder. How could this press of flesh and mouth and tongue have been denied to us for over a year? Your kiss is like a lightening bolt to my mouth. When my lips open to you, your tongue plays and throbs like a pre-show inside of my mouth.
There’s that secret moment: It’s unpredictable and beautiful. When you hit the edge and can’t take it anymore your hips buck hard against mine and you are inside of me. There’s pleasure and a touch of pain but hearing you moan my name sounds right. You are in me, full-blooded and warm and it feels right. Running down the length of your muscled back to your hips, my hands try to create their own language of need and guide you in and out of me. I breathe into your ear, kiss your shoulders and whisper how your manliness and dominance over me would stun the stars. And there’s that moment, even before you say that you are ready to cum, I can feel by the way your hips pump wildly against me like they have their own heartbeat. And when you do, when I feel the quake of you inside of me, I think my heart might just burst apart.
Does it make sense that I gave myself over to you? That I gave you my body? Did you know? Do you want to know that I was published tonight and there are friends waiting to celebrate me and there are tests to write in two weeks so I won’t be around? And you? What do I know about your kids other than one is more like you with a dark side than the other? And that they have to and will always come before me. So I decide right then to protect myself. To put an ocean between our worlds. I crawl out from under you and shake my skin under the brutality of a cold shower. There are bigger things in my heart than you.
It’s a Wednesday night and we’re in a hotel room, North of Simcoe. We’ve just committed adultery. Surely, we aren’t the only ones?
She’s memorized the sound of his knock on the door. He watches from outside as she takes the stairs down to greet him. One leg covered in tight purple hose appears after another. Then the skirt and then her blouse. She’s in full purple with a smile just for him.
He wore blue. Head to toe professional blue. She’s told him its her favourite colour on him. His stomach is jumping and his hands are shaking. He’s had the wonder of learning her heartbeat and how many minutes it takes from his house to her front door. But this, this will not be easy.
“Come sit over here.”
She gestures to a spot on the sofa beside her. It’s overwhelming. He’s never sat so close to her before. There’s heat in the small place where his leg rests next to her. He can’t take his eyes off her. There’s the softness of her hair, small wrinkles between her eyes and freckles across her arms.
“I can’t believe it. You’re breathtaking. All in purple. You even smell like purple.”
She turns to look into his small-brown-eyes-that-should-be-blue. “You’re incredible. Your face. I’ve never seen a face I could look at all day.”
“It’s my nose right? Unbelievably big.”
“You can make jokes every time I compliment you but that doesn’t change how incredible you are. Or how I both love to be near you but can barely stand the ache it causes me.”
They both know it. They are tangling their words and their desires. There’s skin that’s too sensitive and lips and hands that are waiting for it to start. But there are also secrets.
“I want to – I need to let you know. There’s stuff about me. And I owe you the truth – even if it turns out I’m not who you want me to be. I was in Rehab just over a year and a half ago. For coke and alcohol. They caught me at work. I was made to confront myself there. All of my weaknesses.”
“Do you still use?”
“No, but the darkness is still there. It’s dug down deep and its hiding and it calls out for me all of the time. I’ve made mistakes so many times in my life and hurt everyone. My dad, I know he was ashamed. And now he’s gone. You listen to Johnny Cash? ‘When the man comes around,’ that’s about me. I can’t make up for what I did. How I behaved.”
Strange – he can say all this and still look her in the eyes?
“Are you still that person? Are you measuring yourself up against a man who doesn’t exist anymore? That’s past. It’s over. Question is who are you now?”
“You are married?”
“Look, I know this is fucked up. I’m fucked up, but you’re fucked up too. And together that somehow evens shit out. Since I met you, you’re all I think about. You fill the sky. I want a new start. To be straight. Sober. Be a better man.”
“It’s like you’ve told me all of this and I should run right now if I know what’s good for me. I should see you in a whole new perspective. But this is all there is: you. You telling me that you love my creativity and thoughtfulness. That I’m kind. And your eyes mean it when you speak like that. Why now? Why did you come to my life now?”
“Listen,” suddenly he’s sitting up erect, pencil-straight. His voice is heavy and demanding. “All I know is I’m wild about you and I think you might be wild about me.” His hand finds her chin and he pulls her face straight towards him.
“I’m going to kiss you now.”
J: I’m just home from work. If you’re not asleep – you go to bed too early b.t.w. – tell me how you are?
T: Under the covers:)
J: You’re breaking my heart.
T: It’s really dark.
J: Coming over now –
T: Stop teasing me! Would you want that? Want to be under the covers with me?
J: Yes, not knowing where or what you may feel like under the covers entices me. To feel or grab something smooth and warm against my cheek would be amazing. To lick something in front of me not knowing what part of you it is would turn me wild for you.
T: Would you want to feel me completely bare? Squirming under you? Or maybe we could wrestle under the sheets.
J: Wrestling and fucking are for Sunday mornings. I’d want you panting and naked under me. I want you to feel the weight of me in the dark. As much flesh I can feel on mine to yours is exactly what I want. Warm and personal.
T: Our mouths could find each other in the dark. It could be messy and awkward at first. I’m still so shy around you.
J: I need to see you. There’s some things I need to tell you. To talk about.
T: What? Tell me. I’m awake now.
J: Just let me know when I can come see you tomorrow. But you don’t have to say yes. If you want, I can go away.
T: No. Don’t ever go away.