Bloodletting

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You love like a man. Which is to say, cautiously, and with measured words. Or none. No words. You send me voice notes of your breathing or the precious few seconds as you climax taking my name with you. But to speak of love? You prefer not to. There is lust, there is chemistry, there is attraction, sweat and heat. Desire. Exhaustion. Love ; it is too unnecessary. It is not like air. Or sex.

Sitting down to write each night is a practise like prayer. A pen poised like a blade hovering over a trembling vein. One swift swipe and it begins to leak out of me. You can’t speak of writing and wounds without remembering the monstrously simple truth of Hemingway, who said writing only entailed the act of sitting at a typewriter and bleeding. It is a truth too close to the jugular. If you are not careful you will bleed yourself into a stupor of lament. And ultimately, a death of some kind. I am not ready to kill you off just yet.

Another night, another weekend with a quiet telephone. Yesterday you congratulated me on my new happiness and now I feel dismayed because I have come to understand that you’re at peace only when I am restless for you and when my nights go on for twenty-four hours at a time. If I dare speak of a ceasefire, you will unburden yourself of me at once and then, what use is there for a woman so undone?

Writing is bloodletting. You open a fresh page and begin to colour. Every writer will tell you there are more shades of red than any other. We know. Blood is the ink of choice. It is the one way you can relive every moment recorded as if it were happening right now, all over again. And that is crucial if you are to live; if you are to get past this amputation.

This love is an exorcism. My wrists are clean with invisible striations made by every visit to a new page that re-members what was. And who we used to be.

I am unfinished by you.

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3 thoughts on “Bloodletting

  1. “Every writer will tell you there are more shades of red than any other.” Haven’t thought about it this was but this is the truth. Pain of every shade surely brings out the most words for a writer.

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