There is nothing like stepping out into the night in skyscraper heels. She tells me this as she shuts the heavy door behind her. On the step she pauses, teetering, to light her cigarette. Her hair glows, brazen and fox-red. Above, the moon is so bright that the sky is green. We laugh in the verdant light and walk out singing David Bowie songs to the pavement. Past the hydrangeas, the silent houses are demure and innocuous; every window is censored by identical lace curtains. I am craving the sea. Though there is something comforting about suburbia, the harvest moon solicits the old ritual and I am nostalgic for silver beaches, cold grey oceans, damp sand, salty lips and wilderness - lifetimes ago.
Tonight though, we walk to the river, more of a trickle really, strewn with polystyrene takeaway remnants and broken bottles. I am staring at the sky, I can't think of the moon (white as a knuckle and terribly upset*) without Sylvia in the sentence. I say this and we laugh again. Across the grass a group of hooded teenagers regard us warily. Beside me she is spewing pseudo-profundities and snippets of poems between drags, she says something about being free. I am distant.
Have you ever considered that maybe you expect too much? Hail Mary, full of grace, put your old dress back on and learn to kiss with your mouth wide open, we will burn and fade like the stars, but our memories will throw a light out for years after we cease to shine. There are lovers though; the men that will learn how to catch the chunks of meteorite that hurtle towards us. To hold them close as shrines, as altars, as pieces of another life. Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me, I don’t care if you think I’m sparkless and tarnished, I can be anything you want. I know you are scared of standing too close, of catching alight and burning to dust, but know that if you do, I’ll still be here to choke on the ashes. We are in love with our own suffering, how disgusting, how self-indulgent we are. Yes, yes, I understand you but look at how deeply I’ve been wounded. We are only a vapid subtext, she tells me not to believe in god, but trembles when she speaks of heaven. Doesn’t she know that in just one second with the right person, we are god, just as god is irrelevant? Salvation for atheists. Our hymns in tune with thoughts, in time with hearts, the psalms written in our veins, our molecular structures just as fucking cosmic as the whole dazzling self-sure milky way.
It’s fine. If I stay here, I could learn how to ground myself, the earth is solid, the concrete is cold: I can touch it. The grass is dew laden and star dappled and the damp seeps through my soles. But I am already too far gone, miles away with a man so bright that even the moon is jealous.
Neon text installations by Jung Lee, more here, a bit melodramatic but lovely - neon is my favourite thing