the love issue VOLUME 9, ISSUE 5
in this issue
There is no shortage of cliched, blanket statements about love. Love is a battlefield. Love will save the day. Love is hell. All you need is love. Even if you would go so far as to claim that true love does not exist, there is no denying that there is power in the idea of love, if only because it seems to be everywhere. It’s in pop songs, television shows, films, books. We are constantly bombarded with other peoples’ images of love, lust, obsession, and romance. How, in a world of social constructions, can we determine if ‘true’ love exists, and if so, what it is? Yes, I see the concept of love overused and diluted in pop songs. I see it used to manipulate or control others, such as in abusive relationships. You don’t have to look further than the new hit series Twilight to see a textbook abusive relationship between a vampire and his girlfriend glorified as our generation’s greatest romance. There is nothing quite as sad as love being proclaimed in systems of oppression; when what should be the purest positive emotion is used to dominate and manipulate others. Despite this, I can proudly say that I believe in love. I believe that it can take many forms, and be embodied and represented in an infinite number of ways. I believe it can appear where it is least expected. I believe it can be used to achieve lasting good--that if there is a greater paradigm shift from living through fear, hate, and greed to living through love and empathy, the world could change dramatically for the better. I believe it is important to constantly remember what you love about life, school, friends, your partner, and most importantly, yourself. In this issue we have stories of love for a stuffed animal, love for a mythical sea creature, love gone stale, and love gone psychotically violent. These each reveal a little bit of what conceptions of love exist, and how they shape our lives and our culture. Please engage with each article, because love is so much better when experienced, rather than simply observed.
Essays the Love of Dinosaur 4 For Kevin Hatch Say Love is Blind 8 They Anna Fisher
Literature 6 7:43 Praveen Alwis
Poetry on Love 3 Thoughts Richard Garvey 5 10 15
Love Clothes Janice Lee Ithaca Sarah Colleen Dillon Note on a Fridge Andrew Posen
Beholder IV Nuno Teixeira Emmanuel Xerx Javier
I Could Tell You Maeve Strathy
Seek to Know Love Graham Engel
LOVE for the sacrifice of Matt Mousseau You Kate Richards
new content • every thursday • blueprintmagazine.ca
blueprint magazine Volume 9, Issue 5 January 2010
75 University Ave W. Waterloo ON, N2L 3C5
Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor: Print Content Managing Editor: Visual Content Promotional Director Production Assistant
Erin Epp Morgan Alan Carly Lewis Kelly Grevers Lakyn Barton
(519) 884 0710 x 2738 (519) 883 0873 (fax) blueprintmagazine.ca Next Issue Friday, February 12th Theme “Patriotism” For advertising info contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: (519) 884 0710 x 3560
Contributors Praveen Alwis Sarah Colleen Dillon Graham Engel Anna Fisher Richard Garvey Kelly Grevers Kevin Hatch Emily Kennedy Dale Langford Janice Lee
President General Manager/Advertising Production/Advertising Chair of the Board Vice-Chair Treasurer Director Corporate Secretary Distribution Manager
Bryn Ossington Angela Foster Angela Taylor Jordan Hyde Luay Salmon Suhail Hafeez Kyle Muizelaar Maeve Strathy Nicole Weber
Colophon Carly Lewis Hayley Lewis Sarah MacDonald Matt Mousseau Andrew Posen Kate Richards Maeve Strathy Nuno Teixeira Emmanuel Xerx Javier
Blueprint Magazine is the official student magazine of the Wilfrid Laurier University community. Started in 2002 as Bluprint, Blueprint Magazine is an editorially independent magazine published by Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, Waterloo, a corporation without share capital. WLUSP is governed by a board of directors. Opinions in Blueprint Magazine are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the management team, Blueprint Magazine, WLUSP or WLU. Content appearing in Blueprint Magazine bears the copyright expressly of their creator(s) and may not be used without written consent. The circulation for a normal issue of Blueprint Magazine is 3,000 copies.
cover by dale langford inside front cover by nick lachance inside back cover by hayley lewis back cover by carly lewis
Image by Emily Kennedy
Love should be the base of all our interactions. Yet we have grown and been grown to compete and judge others. When we compete we are hoping to dominate. When we judge we are declaring a privileged position. We’re unable to accept ourselves as equal to others. Whether we’re putting someone who’s achieved something great above us, or someone who appears to have nothing desirable below. Our sense of self-worth seems to be damaged. So we act insecurely, whether we’re submissive or fierce competitors. A personal change to better our society is to redefine achievement and choose our own measures of success. In this capitalist society achievement is measured in dollars and displayed with material things. The environmental and social implications of this are complex and many. What if we started defining achievement on a relational basis? I don’t mean a popularity contest, measuring with number of friends and displaying rankings on social networking websites. But quality relationships based on a loving care and openness. Honest interactions steeped with humility and words that say to each being your worth was sewn into your bones and flesh, nothing can change that. I will give you love, and I want to accept the love you give. Sounds divine. Sounds ideal. Often ideas are shut down. Maybe never shared, what if it’s not the best idea? What if it’s not an original idea? What if someone tried this before and it failed? What if someone judges me? Speak ideas. Paint dreams onto walls. Write hopes like poetry. Sing visions like anthems. Everything not shared is lost. Ideas could be conversations. Conversations could become…
For the Love of Dinosaur When I was a kid, I had a stuffed velociraptor in lieu of a teddy bear. I, like most other earnest little kids, had learned to displace a substantial amount of my affection, trust and hope into what was, speaking entirely pragmatically, only a collection of fabric and stuffing sewn together by a machine. Of course dismissing it as such was one of the easiest ways to incur my rather fiery childhood rage, because to me, my velociraptor was so much more than a collection of fabric and stitches. It was to me a companion, a playmate, a trusted sounding board, something to hug when I was sad or scared, to jump around with when I was happy. In short, my stuffed creature was, to me, a friend. And I think it’s fair to say that I loved that little guy, as fearsome and frightening as it may have been to other kids. I always thought Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes had it entirely right—a stuffed animal was a true diehard companion, even if nobody else could see it. By saying I loved a stuffed animal as a friend, I don’t mean to imply that my young mind was incapable of human empathy and I would really value my toy as equal to or more important than any of my human friends. My parents were clear to instill in me a solid balance between valuing my possessions without becoming too materialistic. Nonetheless, I maintain that I loved my velociraptor all the same, and I think that having the creature in my life accomplished a very important alternative outcome: teaching me to decentre my concept of love exclusively from people.
In our media saturated culture, people are more often than not far too prone to putting romantic, interpersonal love on a pedestal. I think the concept can be used in a far more expansive sense, and that our predication to focusing so exclusively on romantic love is really leading to us missing out a fair bit on what else our world has to offer. There have been many times when I, hiking in the mountains and coming across a sudden, unexpected, absolutely sumptuous and breathtaking view of a cliffside and a gulley underneath, or when seeing a tiny crab scrabbling over rocks with turquoise water lapping over it, or even just witnessing a devastatingly beautiful sunset over trees, have been moved by an emotion so powerful and present that I wouldn’t hesitate to refer to it as a kind of love. And I could give countless more examples. I in no way mean to devalue the fascinating intricacies in people in any way (far from it!), but merely suggest that our planet has more to offer, whether in terms of vast natural scenes or tiny little quirks, than interpersonal romance to love. It’s hard to believe that any of the famous poets whose words we now cherish as foundational cultural texts were not moved to the point of love for whatever inspiration, likely largely non-human, led to them assembling their words. I know there is a widespread stigma against expressing love in general, elusive terms, like love for the earth or love for people, leading people to be apprehensive to do so for fear of being branded ‘crazy’ or ‘spaced out’. At the same time, I think it’s increasingly clear that
dwelling entirely on romantic love as an outlet for any profoundly moving feelings not only runs the risk of people severely not appreciating the planet for what it is, but it could also very easily lead to our cultural concept of love getting pretty twisted out of shape. It’s a lot easier to feel disheartened with the world, I would imagine, if one’s entire capacity for love is linked to a relationship with a single person which might very well end up ending. And trust me, I know full well the intoxicating and all-consuming euphoria and fervour romantic love can draw out in people, and I truly believe it to be one of the most precious and beautiful things the world has to offer. What I’m trying to say is that it shouldn’t be the only beautiful thing the world has to offer; if people can learn to decentre their love somewhat, whether by allowing themselves to love a thing, a stuffed animal, a pet, or a natural scene in addition to loving their families, friends, romantic partners and so on, I think we won’t run the risk of putting so much emphasis on the romantic love exclusively, which could very well lead to it burning out prematurely or being too devastating if it happens to end. So, if people could learn to be less afraid to use the word in any context apart from a relationship, it could not only lead to less stress and expectation put on their subsequent romantic encounters, but also lead to them appreciating and finding more nuance in everything around them. Sounds pretty good to me.
Love Clothes I
Our love is like a dirty t-shirt. When you wash away the grime, you wash away the colour; Oh, and it fades in the sunlight.
Our love is like a pair of jeans; you have to break them in. We patch the holes that are too big and leave the ones that bring in some fresh air. They fit tight in some spots (places we want to accentuate) and loose in other spots (where we still want some mystery). Sometimes the fabric stretches out, but one dip in the water and a tumble in hot air makes them fit perfectly again. And over time, when they get old, you never want to part with them; they go so well with everything and have been with you everywhere.
Illustrations by Kelly Grevers
t landed gently upon the faux marble tabletop which had been lightly soiled with spilt drops of iced tea. It stood planted, its antennae quivering in the warm breeze and its impossibly thin wings drawn tightly together as it scavenged the sugary remains. He took a final swig of his beer and tossed the straggling foam onto the ground of the patio. He upturned the empty glass and captured the butterfly in a single swift motion. Its frosted cerulean wings fluttered violently in protest as it rammed itself impotently against the walls of the invisible prison. Its jailer watched with the mildest of interest. Her eyes narrowed and her lips drew tight. “Don’t do that,” she said, lifting the glass. The prisoner took no time to appreciate its freedom, dashing madly towards the fading amber of the evening sun like a six-legged Icarus. He raised his brow and a single corner of his mouth curled into a mockery of a smile. “Right, no creature too small. McCartney would be proud.” She inhaled sharply and swallowed a retort. As she stabbed at a loose leaf of lettuce, the familiar silence began to swell once more. He sighed, picked a french fry and lazily painted his plate with ketchup. Each unspoken word a brick, the two of them masons. Steadily the wall grew. “Can I get you guys anything else?” interrupted the peroxide blonde waitress with a service industry smile. “Just the cheque,” he answered. “Why didn’t you ask me if I wanted anything?” she pressed as the waitress left. He tilted his head. “Do you?” “No, but I don’t like you speaking for me all the time.” Reaching for his phone, he paused to check the hour. 7:42. Too early to make anything of it. You couldn’t pretend to fall asleep at eight o clock, he thought. “Fine,” he replied finally, as he browsed through week old text messages. Fine. That most passive aggressive of words. It wasn’t foreign to either of them anymore. What a harsh understanding that was. Jarred by quiet revelation, he was brought to a summer past when
their words were still honest and spoken freely. He remembered how she had taken him to a forest of evergreens near her house. He had never been to a forest and it was as new to him as everything else about the girl. She led him to a broad clearing, beyond the poking arms of the brush, where they set a worn quilt atop the bed of soil and pine needles. As the crickets played their symphony and the fireflies waltzed, she lay in his arms and told him of how she had found the place. She spoke of heartbreak and hurt and nights when her eyes wouldn’t shut. He spoke of doubts and pressures and mornings when his eyes wouldn’t open. The stars burned brighter there than they did in the city and she had traced Orion and Taurus for him with her finger. He mumbled understanding but his gaze never left her eyes. He marveled at how the glint of moonlight made their pale blue shimmer like silver and how delicate and fragile her frame felt pressed against his. He held her carefully with their palms locked, the softness of her hand smooth against the roughness of his. How perfectly different she had seemed. He had asked why her fingers were so frigid, even in the sweltering heat and humidity of the August night. “Poor circulation” was her answer. “Don’t worry, my heart will beat hard enough for both of us,” he had said. Embarrassment simmered as the words passed his lips. How overwrought and corny they sounded aloud. To his surprise she grinned widely. “I love you,” she whispered. She kissed him before he could respond. He would’ve said, “I love you too.” He would’ve promised her the world, the moon and all the stupid constellations that he couldn’t really see. He would’ve promised that he’d be different, that he’d never hurt her. He would’ve promised it and he would’ve meant it. With resignation, he looked across the table at the girl with slouched shoulders who sipped iced tea while staring at the ground. 7:43. It didn’t matter. He turned the phone off. As she emptied her glass, he lifted his. “We need to talk.”
by praveen alwis
Seeing Red It doesn’t matter. They’re right. Being in love and even in a relationship removes our objectivity and we fail to see what is in front of us, which is a dangerous situation for both men and women. I am not perfect and only recently have I learned to be a good partner, but there was a time when I did not know what a healthy relationship felt like. It wasn’t until my current boyfriend explained to me that what my former partner did to me was wrong that I understood the magnitude of the emotional abuse I had sustained for years. And I even more recently I found out that I’m not alone. A World Health Organization census recently showed that 7% of Canadian women and 6% of men reported having been victims of intimate partner violence in the past five years. There is no denying that women aged 15-24 are at the highest risk for intimate partner violence, and that alcohol is a predominant catalyst for violence in relationships. Although I am part of this age group and had been throughout my trauma, if you would like to refer to it as that, I had never experienced violence at the hands of alcohol. As university students, we fit this age category perfectly, yet
we rarely speak of the fact that the majority of us have been victimized, manipulated and undermined by our partners, and that it is the emotional scars that we carry with us that our friends and family cannot see. And those are often the heaviest to bear. Every time I worry that I am not doing well in school, his words come back to haunt me. “You can’t take that class it’s way over your head,” he’d say, or “maybe you could take that class if you’d actually done well in high school.” It started out playfully with jokes about overt masculinity and the domination of women, which progressed into namecalling. Slowly as our relationship disintegrated and he felt me pulling away, these acts escalated to private acts of abuse, such as subtle name-calling or in his disapproval of my goals. Friends would later claim that I became a ghost of my former outgoing, bubbly self. He quickly learned to manipulate my need to please those around me until he had nearly stifled me completely. Justifying emotional abuse is all too easy when one does not have a support system in which a victim can get help. I told myself that as a society we have grown to accept that being mean to each others’ faces is often acceptable behaviour, and thus his overt
Image by Yusuf Kidwai
dominance and blatant disrespect for me in front of his friends was excused. And not surprisingly, as happens to most women, my friends and family only subtly hinted at my change in behaviour, my weight loss and my generally unpleasant demeanor. My love was blind. Like the approximately 47 per cent of Canadian college and university students that claim to have been victimized in a dating relationship since leaving high school, I became a prisoner of love â€“ a love I no longer even understood. People must understand that it is easier to get caught up in this type of relationship than it appears from the outside. But the signs are always there both for the victim and for the individuals that surround that person. The signs of abuse are the same for any type of relationship, whether it is heterosexual or not. An abuser often shows warning signs from childhood, and usually displays tendencies to enforce strict gender roles, always having to be right, and is overtly critical. And although many believe that violence is the result of patriarchal values, women have the ability to be critical, judgmental and overbearing, all signals of an unhealthy relationship. What needs to be re-examined here are those signals; as a society we have lost track of what a healthy relationship is. We
have again been blinded by something that inhibits our ability to be happy, not only with our partners but often with our friends and even ourselves. Learning the creation of boundaries, self-respect and self-worth, and expecting relationships to be a two-way street where both partners are equal shareholders in the success of the endeavor need to be cultivated. Most importantly, we need to discuss. We must learn to talk constructively about what is right and wrong about relationships with everyone around us. Now I see what I did wrong in prior relationships and I have grown to discover what a reciprocal relationship can feel like. I am no longer a subordinate to my partner; my partner and I are a team. We must remember to examine all of our relationships critically because the love we have for another can shield us from imminent destruction, and when an individual experiences a love that is no longer one that demeans or exploits, the result will be happier, healthier, and more fulfilling. A partner should add to your self, not detract from the person you are.
ithaca before i go i will steal your laugh lines while you are sleeping and from them, build a vast map, a history of joy a panoptic cure-all for madness. a path back to you. here now, a circus! a merry-go-round, an elephant, a bearded lady. a penny show in the farthest tent, eyes only and eyes empty. while i am gone, i consider my company. they are ghostly children, soaked in tantrums. dark-socketed, toothless and easily impressed. wide-lipped and gaping with indiscretions drifting about, proclaiming: mine! mine! mine! their capacity for loyalty, viciously claustrophobic. choking bone, stifling marrow. a hardness that veils the many marks of their sadness my fingers are a time bomb ticking, tapping a countdown of sympathies and impatience: here, a lost moment. here again another. when i have had enough, (and i have had enough) i will look to my map. there, i will unearth a roadway in the hollow of a great forest, jostled along by hope as i forage for the way back to you. my ithaca.
Sarah Colleen Dillon
or what it’s worth, I’d like to tell you something about love as I know it. The trouble is, I’m not quite sure what to say. I could tell you about unrequited love. That it once gave me pain so deep I thought I’d die. Pain so real and raw I spent my days doubled over, tears rolling down my cheeks. I could tell you that every relationship portrayed on television moved me to tears, that I played “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls on repeat. I could tell you about first love. That it gave me confidence like I never knew. That it showed me I could be loved. I could tell you about how I learned to really love someone. The ebb and flow of a relationship; the hard times, the amazing times, the days spent in bed just talking. I could tell you about how the love went stale. How I wanted so badly for it to last forever, but it just couldn’t. I could tell you about heartbreak. Broken promises, faith shattered, and pride bruised. I could tell you about the tearstained pillows, sleepless nights, and no appetite. Your friends barely able to hear you mention her name again. Everyone wanting you to snap out of your sadness, including you, but there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I could tell you about the surprise you experience when you find that you can fall in love again. That despite everything you thought you knew for sure, there’s someone out there even better for you, someone who never simply tolerates you, but always loves you unconditionally. Someone who feels like they were made for you, who you stare at from across the room and still get butterflies. I could tell you that I still know nothing, but that I don’t care one bit. That I’m so deep in it that nothing else matters. Of course I don’t ever know what will happen, but the important thing is that I know what love is right now, and I embrace it. That’s all I can tell you because that’s all I know.
hat do I know about love? I have no particular writings on it, nor do I have any clear philosophical resolutions (only musings plagued by doubts, haunted by dreams). I have been in love, or at least think I have, and recognize many loves as platonic, romantic, or a combination of both. Whether ‘love’ is a physical reality of pheromones and material bonds between brains and bodies, or a soul-tying merger between kindred spirits, it has been the adhesive of clan and culture across the ages. So, what of the binary assumption? Love is ‘traditionally’ conveyed between two partners, give or take external family and cultural influences (which in many cases seek to tell us which pairings are acceptable). Yet, why must it be a ‘pair’? If you have the patience and imagination for it, the boundary of binary can be broken by a polygamous, or polyamorous, or label-less love that works for you. Love is like water; it can flow in the smallest cracks, and it can roar like a river. If you have the will to experience a love that embraces all the things you never knew about it, you’ll be as transcendental as the popular imaginary makes traditional love out to be. The above is a reflection on love as concept, a relationship on a personal level for those involved. Love is strong, but we can forget love when we’re scared, or when we’re on edge in times which can be skewed as ‘nasty, brutish, and short’. Why seek love when you can’t feel free to live? In a world where jumping at shadows is expected, forcing you to shrink-back into comfort and banal familiarity, remembering love for strangers, for your enemies, for the weird looking freaks you wouldn’t want to ride an elevator alone with; love, and remembering love, is what will deliver us from fear and apathy. Love is what makes us a global community. It makes us a nation, a clan, a family; by its definition, love is the insoluble bond that we need to love. Seek to know love.
For the Love of Her Child This is an open letter to my mother. She is the smallest woman I know with the biggest heart that I have ever seen. When I was sixteen, we were walking through the mall and I saw a screaming child on the ground next to a disgruntled, tired looking mother. I turned to you and I said, “I am sorry for ever acting that way. “ You laughed, grabbed my arm and said thank you, telling me that you loved me no matter what kind of shenanigans I get myself into, young or old. This is your favourite story to tell, aside from the time a mannequin fell on me (by my own hand), and I am happy to have given it to you. I am messy, combative, opinionated, and sometimes really foul. Other times I am sad, tired, worried and distressed about life. Most times I am cheerful, chatty, smart and witty. Every single one of those times I can see you in myself. But it’s hard during the rougher times to see that you actually love me when we start to spar. It’s one of the bits of my personality that I am not particularly fond of. My sister once told me that we are too alike and that’s why we fight. We are reflections of each other. I can be rude and a knowit-all and you can be obsessive about cleanliness while furiously trying to organize our lives. I sometimes wonder how you can love me unconditionally when I can be the worst but through those awful moments you are there. I can see it when you come home with something for me or my sister, just to make us happy. I see it when you make a new meal that we love. I see it in all the little things that you don’t think I see at all. I am an adult now, or so I have been told. According to this, I should not need you as much anymore. I should be able to live my life however I please because I have been given the tools to do so through years of shoddy public education and post-secondary institutions. You have taught me how to cook, clean and use the buddy system if I am out late. You still talk to me when I am drunk and pick me up if I need it. You do not judge. You show concern for me and though I sigh with disdain, secretly I am happy that you still worry about me. Age doesn’t matter. I will always need your advice and concern, even if I am fifty and you tell me about menopause.
Carly & Hayley Lewis The life we have lived together since I was born has not been ideal. It’s been hard and, at its worst, almost unbearable. Your strength stems from this immeasurable amount of love you have for my sister and I. I don’t know how you can do it every day. Our family is a little nucleus that seems impermeable. People rarely get in, even if they are part of our supposed actual family. But the experiences we’ve had give us the right to proceed through life with caution. I suppose under these circumstances there is a hyperintense amount of love (and concern) passed around, and it is mostly by you. This is my letter to you. You love me and I don’t know why. I love you
but it doesn’t even compare to how much you love me. Thank you for that. I don’t think I can say it enough. All I know is that if I can love someone, a child or a companion, half as much as you love me, I’ll be lucky. You are the most wonderful person I know and, though I had no choice in the situation, I am happy you had me so that I can have you in my life. Love comes in all kinds of forms and though you try to convince me that all parents must love their kids, I am still not so sure. Yours is the only one that matters to me. Thank you. Sincerely, Your daughter
LOVE for the sacrifice of text and image by Matt Mousseau
imranjet is a young man, working in the ore mines, somewhere in the north of Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Jordan is a teenage boy, attending high school, somewhere in the south of Ontario, Canada. Simranjet lives with his brother, enslaved by rebels who sell the ore through a middleman to companies, either oblivious or indifferent, outside the country. Jordan lives with his parents. In the past month, Simranjet has worked harder and Jordan has sent more text messages for the same reason. Simranjet met the beautiful and tortured eyes of a girl working in the same mine. Jordan met the firm and rounded cleavage of a girl attending the same math class. They are in love. Simranjet is trying to work, but frequently his gaze strays to the girl. Her shirt is torn in the back, but there is something deeply comforting about her suffering. He is not alone in the mine. Jordan receives a text message from the girl. She is sitting in the back of the class, wearing another low cut. He hides the cell phone under his desk to read the message: “If I M U and U R 2 what R we?” Simranjet tries to work and watch the girl, but his attention divided – along with the intervention of his brother – overwhelm his already tired senses, and cause him to cross paths with another worker, whose tool crashes against Simranjet’s. In a flash of sparks, Simranjet’s hand is struck by the tool. Jordan laughs at the message from the girl, a reference to a past joke they shared between classes. He responds: “LOL! WHAT?” Simranjet crushed his hand so that Jordan could send the text message: “LOL! WHAT?” Jordan receives a message: “I think U R cute!” Simranjet is taken by the guard, dragged outside, to the authorities. Jordan works furiously behind his desk, squinting to see the small keys and jamming his fingers to use them, typing and sending a message: “I WANT 2 TELL U SOMETHING.” The authorities remind Simranjet that the tools are worth more than his life. Simranjet’s life is worth less than the tools used so that Jordan could send the text message: “I WANT 2 TELL YOU SOMETHING.” Jordan receives a text message: “WHAT?!?” Simranjet sees the gun in the guard’s hand. He sees the larger gun in the authority’s belt. Jordan eagerly types his confession: “I <3 U!” Powerless, Simranjet returns to the mines, so that he may live to see another day. Simranjet returned to the mines so that Jordan could send the text message: “I <3 U!”
Images by Carly Lewis
You moved my shoes. Again, Laura. You moved my shoes again and I couldn’t find them. I looked for hours that felt like days. They weren’t in the closet by the door. The front door. I didn’t see them on the stairwell, up or down (I checked both). Not on the bedroom floor. Not under the desk in the den. (These are floors I used to know. We used to know, together.) My shoes weren’t there. I tried the kitchen, opened cupboards I didn’t know existed. (You always complain that I don’t spend enough time in there. Well, Laura, now I have.) I even checked the bathrooms. Our bathrooms. (And don’t worry, the seat was down in all of them.) I searched the whole goddamn house, Laura. Nothing. They were my only pair of shoes, and I liked them. (You’ve bought me shoes before, I know. Plenty. But none I want to wear.) It wasn’t until I opened the door to see if it was warm enough for sandals that I found them. Outside. You moved them onto the front porch, out in what I discovered to be the cold. And it was in that moment that I realized, you’ve been moving my shoes since the day we met. You’ve moved my shoes so many times, I don’t even recognize them. They’re never okay where they are, and you just can’t leave them alone. Well, this is the last time, Laura. I’ve made a note of it in handwriting you can’t read. You moved my shoes, and I don’t love you anymore.
love you. And you’re all over my walls. Dark, dripping, biting. This right-angled bludgeoner, covered in you. You trickle downward to the head, form a droplet, and fall to the floor. Drip into your own massacred eye sockets. Can’t you see how much I love you? This deep red romance. Not that Romeo and Juliet bullshit. This is true passion. Twitch. Your face. It’s become a momentary fountain. Crimson shower from the part of your face, unrecognizable now, that provides the lungs with oxygen when your mouth is closed. Not needed now. Your mouth is a cesspool. A crater of deep, red, liquid quietus. You will be forever quiet. Will never be able to speak those words again. But they will forever revolve inside me. A permanent stain of genuine ardor. Emotion lifts me. My hand, now slightly sticky with your drying ichor, gripping the handle of my expression, plunges toward your left shoulder. The sound of delicate flesh tearing. An explosion of anatomical undesign. Smite laceration. I can see inside of you. I pry your flesh from bone. Slowly, tenderly. I see your heart. Still beating. Still beating. Now pouring... love
I can barely breathe now. You are not breathing now. Mashed mess of flesh and broken bone encompassed by a deep pool of your own scarlet life. Lifelessness. All that is distinguishable? Your motionless, trickling love. I have finally seen your true heart. Stop. I am alive. This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long. - Sonnet 73
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Volume 9 Issue 5 January 2010