This is between the two of us: a rift. A raft, and a river. A ribbon of word, ear to ear, half to half, space to sky.
This is between the two of me: a string. A sea that thinks or a light that sings. A city whose urban sprawl begins at one of me and ends at the other and touches every point in between so that the veins of streets and the color of sounds can tie up knots that make me one person.
This is what is holding me together. Listen:
Categories and calculations call me introverted-intuitive-thoughtful-judgmental, eye-en-tee-jay. Blocks of space and personality say my heart is a computer and my head is heavy.
Like Spock, like Batman, like Sherlock, etc., builder of circuits, follower of rules. I am a robot in four letters, motherboard over mother love. I dream of electric sheep. Squeaks and pulses, never heartbeats: me. I travel straight lines and cut my hair with a ruler. I put my right shoe on first and keep my chin level.
A wheel of stars and sparks proclaims me cancer, moon-daughter, mother since birth. I have sleepy eyes and run nowhere but home. I cry over skinned knees and I don't understand machines because they don't age and I feel old already.
I fall hard, I fall fast, I can't stop falling. I love like a plastic bag over the head is loving. Suffocator, incubator. I cry over food and I cry over the moon and I cry over my home, my shell, until even a star is something alien.
And then there are the fractions within sections, the schisms within fractions. A grandfather becomes a fourth as he stands, swaying steward, on a Navy ship with his head still full of bamboo and carabou. A great-grandmother who lived for cabaret stages and late-night vaudeville becomes an eighth even though we can't read the signatures on her photographs anymore.
And then: they say that you're the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time around, and suddenly I am made of vinyl and eyeliner, and suddenly I am his scrunch-nose laugh and her white-ribbon soprano, and I am a city, and I am a museum, and I am home, and I am overloved and overwhelmed, so:
I write. I am writing, I have written, because this is a knot in a piece of string that connects pieces to make a whole. This is a hole in space and time that shouldn't exist, and this is the method by which an animal can be a machine, and this is the method by which I can sleep and go days without sleeping, and this is how I remember things that didn't happen to me, because time is a sea and I am a seive and I keep everything that is handed to me.
This is between us. This is why I am not a paradox. This is a map of something so large it looks small. This is how I am a collage, a mosaic. A machine that loves. A home that thinks. This is how I explain myself and understand you.
This is what is holding me together: listen.