You slept this morning, I remember that;
you slept and I writhed in agony, waiting.
I wanted to shake you awake; I wanted to scream
that time was slipping by like a thief in the night and
soon we were going to die and I needed to leave.
I needed to leave and I didn't want to.
I wanted to curl into your arms and stay there,
my hands hooked within yours. I wanted to stay
so close that our bodies would intertwine--
my flesh would be yours and your flesh would be mine.
I prayed for this; I prayed and as I prayed
my sweat transformed into blood and watered
the California vines.
At first, I didn't understand why you couldn't be awake.
I couldn't understand because my heart felt like it would
bleed out of my chest. I couldn't eat that day;
even the bread left the taste of blood in my mouth.
I wanted an hour -- even just one more hour with you.
I would spend that hour to tell you how much I loved you;
and that even death couldn't stop me.
Ah, love! If only our love could save me from death!
If only you could stop time so that I could be yours
and you could be mine so we would be lovers for eternity.
But you were never the love of my life, and I only realize it now.
How can you save me? I can't even save myself. I can't save you
from leaving me, however much I hurt, however much I pray, even as
blood streams over my eyes.
Oh God! There is too much pain in this world already;
I can feel it seep through my bones and destroy me.
Even now, I can barely stand up to receive the kiss,
and now I must prepare to die?
The inquisition begins and already I can feel a zipper
forming on my mouth. Questions fly about and I am tired,
so tired that the thought of death seems to be a mercy in of itself.
The kiss has been made, the money has been exchanged, and
I am a fool.
Kiss me again; slice off my flesh, strip by strip,
in the patterns of your initials. You ask me for the truth?
The truth is that here I am, vulnerable to your touch,
and you hate me, even though you don't know why.
You don't even know who I am -- maybe that's why you have
so much pleasure radiating from your smile as you disassemble me.
Piece by piece, flesh by flesh, are you trying to find
the way to my heart? Do you think that if you break me enough,
my heart will be yours? And do you think I'll love you?
Make no mistake: I am yours. I always was, from the time
my mother held me in her arms till the time you kissed me
one last time. I am yours, even when you break my flesh and
shatter my heart with your words.
I will tell you who I am:
I am broken and weak and you will only break me more until you
stretch out by body and pierce into my flesh until
water mixes with blood. I am strong and I will not forget you,
nor your temporary love, and I will never stop loving you.
There is nothing more to say.
When I die, I wonder, will you mourn me? Will you
cradle my body in your arms before laying me in the ground?
Maybe you'll garland my head with lilies so that their soft scent
masks the smell of my rotting flesh.
Or maybe you'll crown me with roses instead:
those bloody petals with that strong scent has hidden
the filth of kings and queens before. It even matches
my scarlet nightgown, now drenched with tears.
Do you find me filthy? Perhaps that's why you hesitate
as you finger the thorns. Your hand is bleeding--
you long to cut the thorns off-- and yet you pause
and I don't know why.
Do you wish to hurt me more? Would you wrap the thorns
around my head until my blood trickled out in rivlets,
as if the flowers had learned to bleed?
Or do you hope that your blood
will mingle in with mine
one last time?
The long walk with you turned my feet into blisters
and I could barely carry the weight of our
conversation. How little we talk! Is it something I said?
You know that I love you -- everything I do has been for you.
And yet I can barely grasp on to the little we have
amidst all this weight -- oh God! This weight!
Why don't you let me love you? Why can't you embrace me?
Instead, you stand far off and mock me -- don't think I can't hear.
I can barely stand for pain, but every word echoes in my skull,
even as I shudder from the blows. You have become my enemy, and yet
I cannot help but love you. Your face, your voice, even your laugh
strikes a chord in my heart and I want to kiss you until my lips grow numb.
And it kills me to know that you want me dead. It kills me
to know that you are standing there with a grin on your face as I
crawl on the ground after your blows. I sometimes wish you would
knock out my ears until blood poured out so that I couldn't hear
Do not be afraid; I do not mind. Haven't I given my consent? Look!
There is nothing you can do to hurt me more, nor is there anything
that can break my love.
I can tell you already how I will die: I will die with my arms
outstretched, and the world laying at my feet, indifferent.
It will be raining then. It will pour so that people race under
broken umbrellas in a futile attempt for shelter. I will be outside,
drenched, and my eyes will be open and pointed toward heaven.
I don't need to look down at you. I know what you look like already.
I've memorized your face.
Oh God! Don't turn away from me, don't leave me now -- not now,
not now. I shall leave you soon enough and you shall not be ashamed.
You shall not be ashamed of my naked flesh wrapped in my sweaty nightgown.
You will not be ashamed of the pained look on my face or the way my broken body
heaves as blood drips down my face. Do you think I would let you be ashamed?
I would rather die -- I would rather die.
She's there; I can feel her presence and
see the anguish in her face. There is no hatred,
only pain, raw pain, and I can see her soul
split in two. How could she have known what
would come about? How could she have known that
her heart would break from the very thing that
filled it? She did not question, only loved. She
loved me when she accepted me in her womb,
she loved me when I lay on her knees, helpless.
And now, I am spread out helpless once more and there
is nothing she can do. Nothing she can do but watch
in stupefied horror.
She loves me still. I can feel that too and
my heart aches for it. She is watching me closely,
and she knows what is coming next, though she thinks
she doesn't have the strength to bear it. There
is no hatred in her heart toward anyone.
But she wonders why, and she is
You are scared too; I can feel you tremble as you
avert your gaze. You don't want to look -- you've never been
good with pain, and now you are confronted with it as a
truth that you cannot escape. Perhaps that's why you kneel
and kiss my feet, your eyes downcast and ashamed.
You are scared because you believe that
life is pain and death is pain -- and you hate that my
blood drips down and waters the ground below as it confirms
all that you feared you knew. Even as you kill me, you
want to follow me, you are dying to follow me, and yet
when you see my broken body you hesitate, for you know
that is your fate as well. So you tremble and there is
nothing more that I want to do than to hold you in my arms
Do not be afraid!
What is there to fear? Do you think that our love
will die upon death? Don't be a fool. I forgive you! Even now,
my heart's last beats are for you and my blood pours out in
cups of wine, ready for you to drink.
I am not scared, not anymore. How could I be?
There is nothing to fear when you have nothing left
but Love; everything else has been destroyed.
Even now, the rain is cleansing my body so that my flesh
is as white as snow
while my spirit clings to God.
There is nothing more to say.