“When it dies, Love draws it upward into oneness. But when Strife tears the oneness apart again, then Fire Water Earth Air get separated and from their separation come monsters, animals, fish, bushes, girls, boys, and all the parts of the cosmos created from these. Also swans, of which the male is called a cob and the female a pen, according to Flannery O’Connor. Not a hen? No, a pen, she maintains. She kept swans.” -Anne Carson on Flannery O’Connor
When your lover wings a wine cup at your head, don’t think, monster, notice the angle at which the crystal arches through the air. Your tongue may taste the space it displaces. The cup does not move through distance, but merely executes a series of shifts of its possible location in which it exists, growing ever nearer to your temple, growing ever nearer to the wall it shatters against when it misses your face.
He always had terrible aim.
These days I do not trust my own language – borrowing the breaths of other lips. Breaths that have travelled the same trajectory as that wine cup – taking me back to your fingers which I kiss. Which I bite. Which I put inside my mouth that I might understand what you mean when you say hand.
Your hand, like a female swan is a pen, hedging in the limit of infinity, holding back complete dissolution, for which there is no word in the Southern dialect – but we do have the practice of stirring sugar into tea before we divide it into four separate glasses, four separate words: mine, not mine, not mine, not mine – which, if you will excuse me, is seven words, not four, but I find it easier to spell love with this alphabet. With this division of space. This exercise of limits, because where do we find desire if not in a span of distance?
To be correct has never been my drive. I have only sought that first world of undivided light which we taste parcel by piece by pressing this clumsy form up against the truth. It has taken many forms but once smelled like tar and took up the space of a body.
Destruction is love’s handmaid. She comes before her baring teeth sowing the ground with salt that one might set a table and pour a pitcher of tea into two glasses, forming two words: this one and that one.
When a lover tosses a tea glass at your head, don’t think monster, he has always had bad aim.