You And I, We Look Like Art


We looked like artwork as we spilled into each other yet again.

Untangling myself from his sheets and his hair, I knew we were the messiest of combinations, a toxic blend even – difficult to separate once contact was made.

You know, like red wine splashed upon a white dress, a tattoo across the forehead, or waterproof mascara on a freshly washed pillowcase.

No matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried to cleanse my veins of him, I just couldn’t get him off me.

And part of me didn’t want to.

He looks at me like I never left, like he never left; and for a split second, with my head on his warm chest and his heartbeat in my ear, I wonder why we ever do leave.

But rest assured I am reminded, when as he finally rolls over, face content and light with sweat, he reclaims his arm from around my naked waist.

Suddenly, I am once again just a body; a slightly cold, wide-eyed, naked body, trying not to take up too much space in the right-side of a bed that is not mine.

I remember that tomorrow we will probably argue, or just not speak, or hurt each other in some other round-about, ‘wouldn’t believe it’ kind of way.

I am reminded that together we are not art, but more of a vibrant mess.

And he alone, is a novel.

He is a novel I’ll never quite get to the end of, a book I started with good intentions, but whose plot twists and turbulent narrative have confused me miserably along the way.

His are the pages I’ll always have high hopes for; the ones that when I pick them up, I cannot put down. A slave to his words, I read on obsessively, waiting and waiting for the climax that never comes.

Oh, but I am dedicated, I’ve come this far, I think at times, and I refuse to give up on his potential yet. Never losing interest, I keep turning page after page.

But my expectations are growing further distant, the idea of future chapters begin to seem futile like empty promises.

Laying in his bed now, I realise I’ve been a madwoman, indulging in page after blank page of little to nothing, exulting over a word or a sentence every now and again.

I leave quickly the next morning, bracing myself for the emotional hangover to come.

Completely starved of the content I craved, my eyelids are heavy, my face has worn thin. My enthusiasm has waned, and all satisfaction this addiction once brought me ceases.

I am exhausted, disappointed. I finally put my novel down, and I admit, I feel free.

Yet somehow I can’t bring myself to throw him out completely, and there he sits, collecting dust on my bookshelf.

Sometimes, in moments of weakness, I still fall asleep with that darn book heavy on my chest, thoughts of what might have happened next filling my night’s mind.

But I dare not actually open the thing.

The temptation of starting to read from where I left off is too strong, and I know doing so only ever leads to one thing: Me, with him, in his bed, trying to be art again.