I breathed her name in an invocation of memory, a strange ritual of lust and remembrance. The broken vases of time, the scattered embers of chance encounters and goodbyes that sting forever. “I will love you for a thousand years,” I wrote it on her heart, devoured her flesh, swallowed her as we dug into a new place. But everything is fleeting, people become strange and distant. Little miracles happen in life that takes us to different worlds. I remember the fights, the ashtray she threw at my head and didn’t remember, the comfortable make-ups that would last until they didn’t. We carved each other’s names on our skin that brought up beads of blood that stung when submerged in alcohol and the year that everything turned inside-out. In my dreams we dance and kiss one last time, shedding the new skin, bathing again in the glow of our young love.
There is a story there waiting to be picked out, among cigarette butts and gravel, underfoot, after the rain. The moon bodes well to such feelings, spread out and pieced together after the fact. “I don’t remember things that way.” The hush and hurry of things, the relentless wars we wage, the conversation that we never had; it was like I was never here.
Tomorrow the hours will align, the glass will shatter and be swept up again. “If I can only hold my tongue.” There is nothing but relentless now, oft forgotten days that are never as good as they are bad. Perhaps tomorrow I will dream. Perhaps the water will run clear, and I will find it all over again. I smell the fragrance of her, the scent of inevitability. There is a story here somewhere.
Jasper Kerkau is co-founder of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Publishing. He likes to write about dumb luck and the hours between hours.
She murdered me with hello. Her eyes gazing downward. Fingers resting on hips. The space between us will be closed in my mind, bodies clashing, skin pressed to skin, lips and tongues dancing in a delicious spectacle of passion and sadness. I find no words, nodding slightly, swallowing deeply, yearning for one grand gesture, but there is none. I yield to the insufferable void that sucks us all in eventually. It is too late to find the words, too late for closing the space, finding the center that I yearn for.
[Jasper Kerkau is co-founder, writer, and editor for Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement publishing (suddendenouement.com). He has an affinity for run-on sentences and idiosyncratic people.]
My Second Miracle
I hate social media. I met my ex-wife on Myspace. We got married two months later, at least if my memory serves me correctly. My marriage outlasted Myspace, but it felt just as vapid. But, at least out of married I got two miracles. I never wanted a second child. I started late, and I was afraid of having a girl. The odds were against me. Because I was never particularly lucky, I knew my second would be a girl. I sat sweating nervously while they performed the ultrasound.”Congratulations, its a girl!” My ex was beaming. Fear rushed over me. I would spend the rest of my life worrying about my second miracle. Today she hugs my neck and tells me how much she loves me. Her little voice and pure smile pulverizes my fears. I still don’t like social media. It is not a place for introverts. In the morning, I brush my daughter’s hair while she tries to put the shoe on the wrong foot, taking a drink of chocolate milk, not wanting to take her eyes off of cartoons. Her brother makes her laugh, and she spews milk all over the coffee table which gets on her socks. I grimace and laugh. I am lucky indeed.
[Jasper Kerkau is writer/editor/co-founder of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Sudden Denouement Publishing]
With her side-ways glance,
She sees the patina of my fear.
Smirking, placid expression.
I hear her inaudible laugh,
her nuanced condescension.
A lacerating look,
My heart leaps.
Her oblique manner digs into me.
A dizzy roar of dysfunctional,
ephemeral bliss washes over me.
Soon the hangover.
Why do I do this to myself?
Jasper Kerkau (9/9/16)