Babel II

You ask me to stop turning us into a metaphor.

When we first met, we laughed over the idea of silk sheets. Too poor to afford them, we could only imagine that we would slide too much to be comfortable. In the midst of the laugh, we realized we had both admitted to sleeping in the nude.

If we could, we would have blushed.

You once said you loved me for my writing. Now you fear my abstractions. As though one day I might prefer the slide of metonymy to your touch. You notice I have stopped writing poetry and wonder if that means we’ve lost our music.

I have never termed you my muse. You know my distaste for clichés and so have never demanded this title. But, at times we both question whether my idiosyncratic explanations mask a more banal truth. You do not inspire me.

To say this is, of course, to say little, even nothing, about the texture of what we create, what we enable, what we are.

* * *
Once, forced to play a social game, you were asked: “when did you first know?’

You answered, “we still don’t.”

That’s when I knew.

* * *
We have refused to proclaim our values and histories benign. We acknowledge that my 1982 was not yours, your 1984 not mine. To speak historically, as we must, is to risk turning minor scabs into keloids.

Because I cannot read maps and you lack orientation, we speak in bodily eruptions, avoiding the triteness of origins and destinations.

When Tahar Ben Jelloun writes, “I am moving from myself to myself,” he suggests the impossibility of pure subjectivity as agency. You seem befuddled, as am I. But we both recognize intimacy may be a move from us to us, not growth or maturity or development.

This is why we have no story.

* * *
Asked why, I have said you make me want to wait.

3 thoughts on “Babel II

  1. smart boys are tough to love.
    the smarts reel you in…
    then you become the object of inquiry.

    it’s like the cirque du soleil
    the whirl and whistle is absolutely fascinating
    the magic is alluring
    then suddenly, you’re part of the show
    and it’s not so fun anymore.

    at least, that’s what they tell me
    when its over.

  2. Since I joined a monastery, I find life is different, not easier, just different. And, of course, I only encounter smart people through books.

Comments are closed.