Every Lover Lives by Lydia Paar

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February 18, 2018
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February 20, 2018


Every Lover Lives


Alone not alone: Of all the near car-wrecks my life.  I shot you out of a foxhole.   I walked you through the woods at dawn, on the tip of my rifle, aiming low.  I leaned over with you with underpants cradling my head against the cold.  You knew me in bars, red-lit and lanterned, park benches, straddling you in public.  I was new then.  You saw my blonde head shimmering in streetlights and knew I’d have no reason to say no.   Only yes, yes, not yes I guess but real:  I looked you straight in both eyes and said, “I want to feel it all drain to the last drop left of me.”  I wanted to know god, you see.  So I would know how to See everywhere, even when I’m Empty.

I found you in basement coffee bars, cigarette stained stories of dope and cold, high-low school and crystalline singularity.  Portland, full of sweet wet women wanting me when I cut my hair.  Full of skin like etherized patients.  Gas stations of love.  I met you in golf courses after midnight, setting burn barrels on fire.  You drew me into wild.  The burlap worn under clothes.  The seeing of myself in ginger sodas, new words, each curve of sand-melt and acrid smell, behind each cube of quad-framed ice.  The hearing of my voice in karaoke mics, one like another, imitating famed emotion without the cash.  Each night halitosis and hale, a step into memory I have not had, because I am young but I have been here before, sideways, each time, ten times before, just a different universe, each made of threads of light and night.  Precious secrets held in each.  Second.  I.  Witness.

I remember the ferry ride of drifting snow, lifeline to West Coast love, one week before the plane hit the Hudson.  Fear, I call you Love, draining me out on that cold river so that I am empty and waiting for anything.  Cab driver with glasses ten-times warped and thick pinched lips and stiff but ready to squeeze me out.  Need is a machine and I love you as I go for your nose with my fist, make me real as you do; wrap me in your ropes.  You already know I am and have always been your hostage, and your ruler, sitting in the hot seat of my mind, where we can only stare for centuries feeling every human thing.

We both know we’ve been here for years.  You, sexy behind translucent curtains.  You, insidious ordinary moments made to make me feel real: breakfast, biscuits, laundry, The Movies.  Don’t you know I Was Abandoned and now made of the marvelous cold of empty space, which I let in when I was Exploded, that I chose to be broken apart so I could see?  I have witnessed stars far brighter than I could ever tell anyone about, but my heart…on the worst nights you hide in the closet and scratch.

You  know by now—the universe holds me.  I am your baby.  But I belong to It first and last and It Fishes me out and preserves me, all the good that’s left.  My blood so red it glows.  Ready to rush through your veins.  Ready to spill on your page.  And I alone on my hill.  And you in your vale.  I alone on my hill, where the villages fill with new ghosts each Friday.  And we dance.  And I love the lonely fiddler in the corner, who makes its song like mine.  I dance with the ghosts of each fearful life each night.

About the Author

Lydia Paar is a current MFA student at Washington University.