issue 8: LOVERS
sample questions from
application to marry me
a. The hand that reaches inside the cardboard box and tangles itself in ears and legs and belly.
b. The heavy nod that marries a needle filled with sharp relief to a body bowed by gravity, electrified by pain.
c. The years between.
d. Running free: wind in his face and the calling, curling waves.
a. I will wake you with a cup of coffee, lure you downstairs, trick you into shoveling the driveway. Our breath sharp, tangled up under the receding sun, our mouths fighting each other’s gravity. The blade of the shovel humming the song of teeth against teeth. When we break, we’ll tumble up the stairs, hands as cool as surgeons’ hands slicing open thick winter clothes to the frozen heart beneath.
b. I will wake you with a cup of coffee, lure you downstairs, steal half your waffles and pinch the blueberries out of your fruit cup before you even notice. Our eyes tied together with string. We’ll scramble up the stairs, pile blankets high enough to drown, calculate the maximum amount of skin we can share. Pull out our books and read over each other.
c. Take a photo before it dissolves into salt and steam.
a. On the train from Baltimore to Boston, you sat next to me. I never said: those hours of hip-to-hip, thigh-blending-into-thigh, your shoulder bunched up against the window and your book held high like a shield -- I spent them writing a love-poem to your downturned lip, an aria for the travel-smudged rasp of your hair. I never said: run away with me. I never said: my shadow is in love with your shadow, my dreams are now your dreams. I never said: let me carry your books, your bag, your heart, your grief. I said: “Hi, what’s your name?” and you turned those eyes on me.
b. The universe is a construct like love: the brain, finite cluster of electricity, estimates. However much you think exists, add at least another atom. Another. Now, add a galaxy. Or, imagine the universe is just you and me: a binary star, orbiting the empty space between us, cradled in each other’s gravity.
c. We are not having this argument again. I agree with you, okay? It is unaccountably stupid that the writers of Star Trek thought that a space-faring civilization would have divided the universe into quadrants. In the first place, any three-dimensional space would have to be split on a minimum of three axes and have at least eight regions. But before they’d even get there, they’d -- all those alien races, I mean -- have to get together and agree on the center of space to delineate the axes and humans can’t even figure out if eggs are good or bad to eat. If you wanna fight, we can fight about your pinko commie view of the death penalty, otherwise I gotta walk the dog.
d. Anywhere our bodies meet.
a. When it’s a dream.
b. When it’s a promise.
c. When it’s a lie.
a. When I wake every morning, I hold my breath to listen for your breathing.
b. I got off the train in Boston; you walked the opposite direction, red roller bag bumping through the crowds and your hair glinting in the station lights. I never said: run back to me. I never said: I fell into your gravity and I don’t want to escape. My whisper drowned in that dirty, noisy sea: “Please.” And you stopped, in the middle of it all, and turned those eyes on me.