At first we just look.
dense matting of human figures
piled up motor vehicles
abstracted body parts
scattered words on a barbed wire fence
the sweat of my bones breaking out of my ribs
my head a maze of jumbled trash
tangled misused distorted
Then I know we have to run and we pick ourselves up from the dust of the road and don’t look back. Breath comes in short, airless gasps. Swallowing the sharp tang of blood, but we can’t stop. Not until we reach the border.
It’ll be nightfall soon and you take my hand.
My brain wants to break free but instead it just trickles down my shoulders. In this crisis of conformity we look like everyone else as we make our escape. Wearing torn heartstrings and polished brogues. Why hadn’t we seen it coming? The banks collapsed and we crumbled down with them – nothing left to shore it all up any longer. Deadwood crashing downstream to the barbed-wire sea.
We are running, from something or towards something. Trouble. We need to cross the border : like everybody else. There’s anguish in your eyes and the longer I look, the more it is reflected in my own. I feel the contours of my features mirror the lines of your anger and frustration. Mostly I feel your pain writing itself across my face. I feel it in my visceral organs – the empty room inside me leaking out in oil-black drips and sinister shades. My heart beats outside myself and I am dis-located.
* * *
I’m assaulted by the noise of this place: people talking, voices raised – invisible and indecipherable marks that streak the air around my ears, pierce my skin and drain my senses. Strange and foreign sounds. There’s nowhere to rest and I’m surrounded by the intense discomfort and intrusion of broken bodies, shattered moments : a pile of dead tv screens broadcasting the image of a wasted world
I turn back to you. Fleeing from this intensity straight back into the intensity of your eyes. Your eyes, which have allowed too much wreckage inside your soul, so that you carry this wounded city upon your head – the mutilated aftermath of every fatal car crash: bodies twisted in tangled mesh, crossing borders of identity as legs, arms, memories invade each others’ spaces; open fractures unknot the seams of one self and redistribute internal parts kept private until now. All secrets spilled in this collision of lives, inseparable now : from one another and this high-speed moment of meeting
In the silence my heart opens, blossoms in the parched earth between your lips. I am borderless. My shapes meet your outlines and my ribs heart spine break free. Tender boundaries beyond touch: aching surface grazed and ruptured. The fever of new beginnings reaches in to touch my flesh as it cries with sweat-salt tears. Is it heat or dust oppression that makes it leak so black?
I taste the tears on my tongue: the sharp interior of eyes and nose is hot on the cool surface of my skin, dripping back and down my chin. Inside out. Secrets spilled in liquid ink. A word in space and silence crosses worlds between us, and through a look your world is brought within mine. A touch of skin on skin transcends my isolation : deepening it beyond despair.
Tear me apart with your touches: hungry lips on heart-bruised skin. The mouth you use to speak me, bite me open, drink my blood. In tongues of fashion talk to me of people left behind. This world that’s both within us and beyond – with organs on display as ruptured spine bleeds black – is our consciousness entwined.
And when I look again, I see the recognition in your eyes.