I spend my soul on ways to see you; adept at disrupting the stasis with words and gestures; converting energy to silence, speed to the slow turning of a head.
I bask in it, relish the contrast: the jovial to somber timbre, the animation to stillness, the random drumming to fingers skilled, raking hair like a priest wiping a chalice; you change to a low tide, a gentle undulation; the upward glance and there you are; the unaffected nature of you; the inside and outside of you.
The other returns in splintered images: the slight posturing, the quickened shift of feet and hands and speech, the smirking, the stance, the tip of a head, the sideways glance, the seeming nature of you, the open, close, put away, take out baseness.
I am a leech, feasting, orchestrating, knowing these capers will sink me, taunt me, mock me, drain me, the brevity of it, the glimpse of it, the crack, the fissure, the unfurling of a breathing consciousness crawling, clawing.
I latch on, savor it, salvage it, the altering, the essence, sacred fragments like molecules lolling, flailing for novelty, for air, for lust, to blast up and outwards and away—unreachable, uncontained.
And me, depleted
Elizabeth Brown has short fiction and poetry published in TreeHouse, Literary Orphans, Gravel, Pithead Chapel and elsewhere. She is currently working on a historical feminism and psychological novel.