The Intimacy of Strangers

I had to bury you.

Hold a vigil,

Candlelit.

Throw ashes on your grave

Mourn you till I believed you were dead.

Till my body believed you were truly gone.

Till the residue of your presence was exhumed from mine
Till I could taste your absence, bitter, on my tongue
Till I felt it with my great tap root.

Yet, how you reincarnate

Fortified in this piece of glass and metal, connecting me to a haunting resemblance of you

A portal into an eerie apparition of your life, half curated, half imagined

entirely devoid of me.
A ghost bride and groom
Intricately familiar and yet completely new

intimate stranger
I’m so disconcerted. It’s uncanny—

Unheimlich

Ulu

Chale

Revenant

Does she know the rhythms of your voice when you speak to me?

a whole host of words foreign and familiar to us that we taught each other over the intimate cadences of our lives.

Different slopes and valleys interloping to match mine.

I do not believe it.

When you talk across the ocean, you emulate them,

When you speak with your guys, slipping into childhood rhythms.

I loved hearing your voice in its youth, in its most natural habitat.

With me, its musicality entirely bespoke.

diminished 7ths and notes your love wrote just for me. A river ever flowing

I will never forget that moment.

gutted, I fell, like a fish on the floor in the wet market

blood draining from my head

Sense leaking through my fingers.

Rivers pooling in my hands

Hollow in my stomach exponential

How cruel to be unkind.

I stayed on my knees and prayed,

for this haunting to end, to end, to end.

You are dead to me.

Catching my reflection, seeing what

A terrible look
Potent jealousy,
is on me.

Oh—

Let me go
let me go
let me
go

Grant me my deliverance

Wondering
Wandering
Wondering,

Why am I knit to you?

Soul-tie, that will knot break.

~ Jennifer 詠嫻 McGeever

What is sacred to you?

Moonlight cascading off your skin, ricochets

Around these walls, off the glass and steel of this city

My fingers compose music down your ribcage, 

We are seven floors up but I want to go higher—

I want to climb inside your mind

Experiencing this new-new novel

                                      whose tone and words and plot line I’ve never read before. 

 

You intrigue me. The discovery of someone else’s mind is like that. 

It’s funny how I know before I know, that yours is a mind I like

I want to fall into its depths 

Take residency in its nuances  

Sure, your face, that body; they’re my aesthetic 

But your mind, that mind. 

I could deep dive 

I could languidly reside there for days. 

 

this

It is sacred to me

Our beginnings, our endings

Our nights with no in-between

Infinite nights upon

Infinite days

When they meld and marble into one

this beautiful, inimitable pattern

 

I see it all

as the pixels of your voice diffuse around me 

it is grand and it is new and it is heady

and it is wondrous and it is nascent and it is unwritten

we are moments 

we are years

we are decades

the mundane, and the unseen

and the delicious, improbable, unlikely 

that makes perfect sense. 

 

what is sacred?

it’s been playing on my mind lately. 

It changes over time

what do you guard?

what do you protect?

What do you set an impenetrable boundary around? for your own good

I’m acutely aware that exposure oxidises.

But sometimes, there is something so freeing about letting the light in and

    the teal copper goes when it has weathered the elements is, to me, more beautiful than

when it’s new 

 

But this, our beginning

I think the beginning is sacred. 

it is vulnerable in its newness

in its nascent growth 

one-on-one is sacred 

The space between us, the time between us, the conversations between us. 

Are sacred to me. 

 

  ~ Jennifer McGeever