'Swirled' by Emmanuela Copal de León
Swirled, Emmanuela Copal de León, 1999.


samantha coerbell

"i dreamed a vision of you saying all the right things."

or, i might walk blocks out of my way to watch the lights flicker in his room.

each river that runs takes me to a larger body and each larger body reminds me that nothing can ever really be mine. i will never be sailing across the ocean and discover an island that can be named after me. fixing on this notion i waste too much time to take this in. there is an imposing quality about the hour. it is 7am or 9am or noon. i am 23 past. me, all 47 into it. 6 to. 12 time, i show 33 of. i leave it so. all things should be running on 3 minute intervals, with the odd round hour, so that i am never to be late again. that makes all the difference.

"maybe, when the inner mind wakes there are revelations to be had that won't involve you. i will live without you this year."

i did not give him my new number. i hoped that when he did not call it was for this reason only. not as before when he simply did not call willfully. maybe when the revolution comes i will turn my back on the whole sordid mess. whatever revelry change will bring i will shy. i am facing full misery. it is coloured with the brown of my eyes and the red of my blood. my yellow, orange-tinged flesh adds texture. my misery resembles me so beautifully. i cannot send out for a better duplicate.

"i didn't even get to ask your name. the one your mother gave you. or the one the gods meant for you to have. or what the women you made holler hollered. i never said your name very loud. just a made up thing i called you to make your head turn. your name was, 'sweetie,' or 'papi,' or 'o. my lord', never anything i could utter in public. but i did call you out your name on the corner of 3rd and A. i called you a lying, pussy sucking, son of a bitch. not caring that you did one, and wishing that you would do the other. each, in either order."

i got up one morning to take a shower and return to bed. i woke to urinate and returned to bed. i dreamt i ate a steak dinner. i woke to throw up. i am a narcoleptic anorexic.

"will morning bring the soft sloughing sensation of being free of you at last? i made a list of all the things i could be doing instead of wanting you. it was long and took up two 5 subject spiral notebooks. that was when i knew it was over."

voices clang in the distance. they are saying something not meant for me to understand. the people, they speak in a language i cannot understand. even as i recognise all the words, it is the combination that puzzles me. but it is not a puzzle it is a code. a secret jumble to my ears.

"i wrote a song today. it had the word 'loopy' in it. i write sappy love songs. i write poems that rhyme too much. i write stories where the girl straddles the back of a stark white stallion and the man riding it. i am writing my innermost pathologies. but you can't tell a soul. no. please don't tell anyone i am so weak. the whole world will want to walk over me."

really fat pigeons coo on the window sill. i wish they were cartoon birds who could talk and tell me what's going on with them. i wish i could talk to my bar of soap. encourage it not to let its work eat away at its fullness. not to let the rubbing make it feel like less of itself. i feel i am taking advantage of it. not polite to explain how each crevice must be cleaned, the soapbar is in on this, albeit with a melting reluctance.

"i am completely into a new view. the world is spinning on an axis bold as love. i see the future through rainbow kaleidoscopic specs. standing in the middle of a field, i wish for sand. diving into the deep blue sea, i crave asphalt."

i took all of the mushes meandering through my mind and made an understanding. you want what you cannot have. not because you want it, but because it is denied you. i, maybe, knew this in the going in, and when going out, chose the in. in each moment that has indulged the bubbling swill of dramatic emotionalism a pink ripply monster has been asking me to dance. i am giddy girl dervishing on checkerboard square.

"which piece of yesterday are we clinging to? did you mean for me to end up this way, a blathering numbskull, a dingbat (without the affectionate undertones), a pissant, a miscreant, a silly?"



Text © 1999 by Samantha Coerbell

Original Graphic, "Swirled," © 1999 by Emmanuela Copal de León

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