Do not romanticize the lives of others. They may have a house, a dog, 1.7 children to love and feed. Sometimes in the evenings they dance together while making dinner. Through their kitchen window, you watch them circle the table, arms sloppy with the ease of it. You have only this page to fill, this life to pour words into. Take tonight for instance. You mistook him for something better than he was. You are often doing this. If only you could see yourself through the same sweet skin of possibility. It wasn’t until he asked you to lift your skirt, just a few more inches to reveal the plump shaft of your inner thigh, that you understood the inaccuracy of your translation. When he said that he wanted to meet the lady writer, he meant he wanted to fuck her. You had confused your adjectives and nouns. You were still working out the grammar when he adjusted his pant leg making room for his hard-on, his little prize. Already the story of it was more interesting than the event. Here she is, you thought, the lady writer. You had wanted to meet her too.
Somehow, without any warning, your desiccated heart has rehydrated, a bloated corpse in the center of your chest. People can smell it. Rather than being repulsed, they are drawn as if by a pheromone, the way boars detect estrus in sows. You had thought you’d be more desirable heartless, but animals survived by avoiding those among them who could not feel. Newly resuscitated, your emotions are black and iridescent, strange insects pricking the surface of your skin. You wonder if this is what people mean by wearing one’s heart on their sleeve. You had always pictured something red and bloody, like newly butchered meat. But the sensation is more brittle, as if you are sheathed in fractured glass. When the light hits you, you are kaleidoscopic. A million fragments of.