In the absence of anything as definitive as blood type
or maths, I am delighted to declare
I found the back to the earring, also
the mildew is banished, albeit temporarily.
I want to share this news with you,
a check against the inventory of living.
Personalized necklaces point to living.
Customizable anything suggests it’s all worth it.
Sometimes it’s “oh this iced finger bun”
others it’s “put something in the diary to look forward to.”
This is an elaborate mural in an ill-frequented part of the city.
My diary is full and the bakery is out of buns.
Indoors there needs to be a swap from idle teasels
to cacti. (Some sort of permanence that works in the way I work —
water, light, a finger touch confirming my edges.)
I only have cats to verify I’m there.
I am building up evidence. Some bodily. Some constructed.
On balance, perhaps I am more a person who racks up
indicators of taste as proof of living. There are condiments,
playlists, preferred linens. I first got drunk
on Cinzano. There was no one taking notes. I used to dream
of sex in a fully upholstered room with no windows or doors.
This idea of rabbit fur rugs and buttoned velvet cushions,
immaculately conceived. Always snagged on the detail
of things — how even did I come to be inside,
nevermind out. The sex wasn’t the point. What I seek
is magic like an intact lipstick mirror in an antique handbag,
my own nifty (crackerjack?) endurance. Or to discover
a gulping heart within a privet hedge. Or the druzy quartz
of someone’s eyes long gone and to say it!
I am dying to be written about in your diary
and my self-involvement extends to endless
photographs of my eye makeup, which might be described
as “signature.” FYI I prefer a fine brush to a pen.
What can be said about slush, about the corners cut when cleaning
the fridge. What can be said about what is considered
to be ordinary. Crucially, love is a desire
to be a witness and be witnessed, how you might skate
past the provisional. If the house were burning down
I would rescue all the photographs they’ll tell you
or select that option in the quiz. Now the photographs
are in the air and my increments of living, too. We can still
hold hands, eat noodles with the lights off, have deliberate sex.
There is an obscure audience, always. My personal schmaltz,
strumpet wardrobe, the lacquered soles of dancing shoes.
The e-mail I sent has the subject line (no subject).