I gave you far too much.
More than I ever had to give. I beg, borrowed and stole to feed you and when I realized you would have fed from the very marrow residing in my bones. It was too late. You have devoured me like a well roasted chicken. I have witnessed people feast in this manner, they pull the flesh from the bones at first delicately and then grow comfortable with devouring recklessly.
This is how greedy men devour women. I suppose women must consume men.
Everyone devours their young in some manner. We take our children as small appetizers at the altar of own needs.
Isn’t it said, the road to hell is often paved with good intentions? But this writing isn’t about that, not for now. My sins we will get to…my own greed, if not reflected in this letter to you will be detailed but, for now – dear lover, lets discuss me – resting in the basin of your belly, coursing through your veins – still apparent on your too full lips and peering at you from behind your own cloudy lens shaded by too long lashes.
You are not the first to hold me irreverently on your tongue.
At this writing I have declared you the last. So in a sense have I not been Christ? Having provided myself as last supper to your insatiable greed. Having paid for both of our sins with my life? Have I not been the lamb barely fattened for slaughter? And finally, have I not risen from a bastard death to write to you. Have I not rolled the stone from my own mouth to declare my new testament?
Take this flesh and eat in memory of me.
Drink for this is my blood and in its consumption, you will remember me. It is good that you should remember, perhaps you will be shamed into regurgitation – spitting me whole back out of your blasphemous mouth. This is what I desire. Wholeness.
I have resided in the belly of men who never were able to be sated. They feasted on me and others women like pigs at troughs. Sloppy, messy eaters.
You ever sit back and watch yourself be eaten alive? You ever watch as you allowed yourself to be as that roasted chicken, I have described?
I have observed from a distance as I have been feast to the famished. You soon realize, these men and women will never have bellies growing fat with you – somehow your limbs regenerate and they consume again and again.
When the meat is gone, the bones sucked until they are gray, they are then snapped between greasy finger and thumb and the marrow awaits. Dark brown and elusive, fortifying the bones – this is what last remains of any living thing. Blood, now dry and clumped together memorialized against the hollow of jagged bone is sucked into an ever hungry mouth.
I wonder if there is memory in blood. If there is an intimate connection between the soul and the substance that fuels the body containing it. Somehow there must be a ghosts residing in white and red cells, forming like embryos in the nucleus from the time our conception. Little selves coursing through our veins…carrying our other cells from head to toe.
You would have taken the food off of my tongue had I not closed my mouth in time. You, man/boy would have eaten from my open mouth as a baby bird earnestly feeds…ignorant that the one feeding also needs, craves…desires.
I don’t know if it was self-sacrifice. When I resisted, you pulled away. Retreated into silence or the warmth of another woman, really what is the difference? You were unreachable and once I settled into the dry place of lonliness, you would briefly reappear – state your need and if I could not fill that need, you retreated once again. I was useless if I had nothing to use.
Pussy is an abundant resource and not unique in its market value.
The phone went to voicemail and I called endlessly. I called and even slept with the phone beneath my pillow.
I have mothered so many sons such as you. Dearest love, you are not unique in your greed.
What woman has not been me?
What woman has not loved so desperately her bones have splintered and her heart has been her greatest betrayer?
What woman has not thought she could fuck away loneliness?
The nobler of men like you will resist sex, say you want more than a physical relationship with palms turned upward as if in prayer but truly this is your foreplay. The neediness, the taking. It is the offering plate by which women like me tithe. We give until our flesh is raw from pulling away our own layers of dignity.
This is how I became homeless.
Even then, I scrambled to line your nest with comfort. Awoke in a dormitory of women whom I thought I was better than, simply because I was in law school. I was educated. I was beautiful. But how was I different from these women?
The one in the corner, scratching endlessly, lousy with scabies.
Mimi, the woman next to me, wearing a blonde wig and refusing to remove it. A black girl like me claiming to be Irish and naturally blonde, not knowing or realizing I could see her nappy hairline peaking from beneath the crooked “hairline” of the wig. There was her identity peaking at me from beneath a matted blonde wig.
I often fell asleep to Mimi speaking to me from the top bunk and often I would speak with her…listen to her discuss her family, her boyfriend waiting for her in Sweden. It wasn’t until another woman in the shelter approached me and said, “She’s not speaking to you. Those are the voices in her head she speaking to…” still I answered and would drift off to sleep with Mimi singing Disney songs and clutching a stuffed animal.
How was I different from these other women with no homes? An education did not separate me from economic realities nor did it separate me from women struggling with emotional demons.
I slipped away in the middle of night (there were no bed checks), to go fuck you. I slipped away to sleep in a bed that did not have to be sprayed with Lysol or that was not threatened with the prospect of bed bugs. In exchange for this, I allowed you to put your electric bill in my name and still refuse me a place to stay. I used my food stamps to fill your refrigerator and the food I purchased for myself you made me take with me, there was no room in your refrigerator for my things.
I told you I was hungry once and you gave me four dollars for the McDonald’s Dollar Menu.
Still I fucked you.
Lover, was it my foolishness or stark desperation that kept me in your thrall? Where you ever to blame? Blame is actually useless and so I guess I will not venture there.
I can’t begin this with blame, though there is plenty to go around.
Lover, I just wanted you to know I survived. I survived the betrayal, the consumption, disambiguation…somehow I survived it.
You should know I survived you.
I survived my choosing of you.
And this is where I am now. Writing you furiously, exuberantly, morosely, always a contradiction but unwavering in the fact that I made it through somehow.
Remember you videotaped my meltdowns on your IPhone?
I wonder if you saved that video?
You said it would be evidence of my craziness. You said it proved why you had to treat me as you did. Truly the evidence of my imbalance was remaining with you? Sitting in the snow on your front steps with my clothes in grocery store bags begging to be allowed in – this was more than enough evidence and is probably imprinted on the underside of someones eyelids – a passerby, wondering of the woman in the cold, sitting on snow slushed steps.
So what does this writing prove?
Dearest, I am not interested in proving a thing. I just decided that if my story is to be told. If my life to be replayed, it will not be from your fucking IPhone. It will not be of me begging you from the living room couch to allow me to sleep on a bed or at least call a cab to take me back to the shelter.
That will not be the story that will memorialize me.
This will be the story, as best as I can write it. This will be the truth that is memorialized.
The blood that holds memory and casts shadow on all other tellings.