Maybe something's missing
but not in a bad way?
Bi-weekly antics, week of Native American Heritage Day
Poetry is a conversation
No poem is complete
Without a bit
We’ve reached the part of the year that is only a few hugs and gifts and goodbyes before January. I’m glad we’re here, really. I wouldn’t have wanted it a moment sooner. But we’re here, and as they say, it came at us fast.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about art, as I do, but this time, about how truly incomplete any work of art is without the person experiencing it.
The poem above is about poetry, yes, but I think every sort of art requires poetry. And so I wonder, constantly these days, how much of this idea is true?
Is all art a fragmented puzzle requiring our individual interpretation to be complete? Is that why, for so many artists, our work never quite feels done, even when we decide to share it? And is it the main reason why all art can only be described as subjective?
I plan to write more on this subject. It’s an ongoing thought I haven’t been able to fully dissect, or even shake. But for now I’ll leave it here, with you. A hearty feast of thought just in time for this season.
In the beginning, I promised y’all stories. Interesting, fun, sad, happy, mysterious short (always short, always fiction) stories. So this week, a holiday week, a probably slow week for many of you… We’re gonna bring it back to the basics. A totally emo, (almost) love story for your afternoon (or evening) reading.
Here it is…
A short story about wanting
“Talk to me,” I pleaded.
Almost begging. It seemed worth it, for even just a bit more of them. Funny, I’d never done this begging thing before us. Now, to crave Khadi was as normal as kissing them goodbye. It all felt the same. Insatiable wanting. Perhaps it’s why our end felt nothing like an end.
Khadi wouldn’t speak. Their brows furrowed, dark brown skin glaring under a burnt red tint. Their squint could have been from the sun. I hoped it was. Or from thoughts of me, the ones they didn’t share. They rarely shared. I waited.
“We stay talking in circles, and no shit get’s fixed and it’s…like…I can’t. I tired. I’m literally tired.”
Their words, like toxic water to barren land. Seeping into my roots and fooling me with moisture. I told myself this was good. That we were talking. I’d take it. I’d want nothing else if we could stay here.
But the churn of my stomach said different.
Nausea painted a picture of our future, the ugly image of them leaving, me staying behind. I panicked. I cried out for them, but only inside. Praying the discipline of my silence would be good for us. And it was our quiet, now. At least we shared it.
And they hadn’t left me. Not really, and so my panic had been misguided. It had to have been, because they were still there. Close enough to touch, and so I did. Grabbed their arm and squeezed like a child to a blanket. Vulnerable wasn't the word. No. What’s the word for when you watch a part of yourself get lost in someone else?
“Khadi.” I said their name like it was some missing key.
It wasn’t. They ripped their arm from my grasp. Struggle from crossed legs up to steady feet, crushing sandy prints into our rosy beach towel.
I hadn’t imagined it this time. I stood with them, implying some sort of unity.
“I’m sorry.” They said, waiting patiently for me to let go.
Let go. Let go, I told myself. It’s what they wanted. I needed to do what they wanted. And I might have sat again, had I the ability to move.
I could only watch them slink down that gritty walkway, shouldering the Farmer’s Market tote we’d found together, full of carrots and hummus and turkey sandwiches we made that morning while laughing too loud in their studio.
They never looked back.
Like it was easy. And I would have begged again if it meant Khadi’d look back at me, even if that was the last moment we ever shared.
Maybe that was our problem. That wanting, more and less.
Thanks for reading, ya’ll. Talk to you again, soon.