Such Shaping Fantasies, That Apprehend ( The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet)

by Charlotte E. Wilde

You slipped swaying into my dream last night. You were there only it wasn’t you but remnants, pieces, all the distorted obliquely angled shards of you, a disambiguation; all the wrong parts of you that speak to all the wrong parts of me. You pinned your sleeve to drinking with your demons (and me, am I one of them now?), you laughed great laughs at bartenders and you looked at me sparking sad but interest that glowed until I felt your warmth as whiskey sliding down my chest. You ran wild-eyed and free and I too was uninhibited reckless, wreckless. As you spoke the words I wanted to hear and the ones I didn’t, I catalogued them all between the lines like I said I wouldn’t but we both knew it didn’t matter anymore, anyway. You pulled me close to whisper those hidden slithering secrets, the rabid remnants, the pieces I found appealing because they were raw and real and true because I understand them and I feel them too. You spoke to me. Yet, I knew them to be those things that would eventually come to represent what I wanted to change, like bad wallpaper or a chipped finish, a golden red apple with a mealy rotten core. You whispered and unveiled riddles draped in false confidence that meant my soul could metaphysically afford yours, that meant I probably shouldn’t. But so it goes. The more I drank the more I showed you all those parts of me too and it was messy and gleeful, as were we both, but I knew without waking up next to you the weight of the stagnant swamp of guilt that would slide between us and foreign blinds with the morning light. The strength of that guilt to rock my rotten core (like only you could before) slicing through hangovers that taste like reprieve from pounding heads full of thoughts better left unspoken, unsaid, but not unthought.

She was there too, the white hooded figure leaning on the wall by the door. We never spoke but inherently the warning was felt, not because she knew you but because she knew me. I didn’t listen of course. I never do. I sat in that bucket of water and soaked in your words and waited while the heat turned slowly up until it was boiling and I was both alive and slowly not at the same time; I was nothing and everything; I was anticipating, trembling, seething, quaking; I was patiently watching, impatiently waiting shivering sighing, dying for you to take the first bite.