Words are a crevice I chiseled
In the middle of the wall,
The tesseract through which our fingertips touch.

Words are a loophole
In the laws of sadness,
A cheat in the crying game.

In words I can summon you
To emerge from any crowd,
I can watch you cross the street toward me,
I stand one person away from you
In the elevator.

I have made them our refuge,
Our microcosmic bomb shelter
Buried deep beneath the layers
Of fear and despair.

Words are a cavern I dug out
In the middle of a wall,
There in a there that’s not here
Nor in the end where you stand,
There where we can fool time and space
And hide together
And be.


Hot Water Bottle

Is there any way to be productive with a bad case of cramps? I highly doubt it—especially when it makes for a fine excuse to delay work. I’m using the word “fine,” but it’s not fine at all when you’re all curled up in your bed like a kitty and there’s no hand in the world to stroke your back and make you purr. Ah, cats, aren’t you the lucky kind.

When it comes to pain, I tend to be very stoic, sometimes exceedingly so. Once I walked someone around a temple complex looking pretty normal until I asked permission to sit for a little while. I guess he thought I was just tired, so he wandered around some more—until he found me bent over on a bench, my hair falling on my face like a weeping willow.

This time I was ready to spend the day twitching in bed, feeling as if my uterus were being  squeezed on a juicer, until a friend of mine recommended painkillers and a hot water bottle. Medicine was out of the question, but I readily fetched the container, filled it up, and stuck it inside my pajama pants. The relief that dawned upon my body felt new and all-encompassing, like stepping out of the shadows into a sunny spot in the morning.

Now that I’ve spent a few hours sitting around with this wellness-bearing device, I’ve come to think that I could totally do without human contact if I could keep a hot water bottle by my belly at all times. Of course, the water bottle would not bring me a cup of tea nor tell me bad jokes to make me feel better. It wouldn’t fetch my hand after stepping out of the train, and it certainly wouldn’t fight over stolen blankets or the right times to eat cheese. But what choice do I have in a world where not all entrails are entitled to warmth at the same time? First things first. I’ll have plenty of time later to deal with the crystal needles growing inside my frozen heart.