Places I’ve Lived: A Photograph, Worry, a Ribcage

Where have you lived, self?

A photograph of the yard of a house, A mountain, Alabama; A roll of film in 1986

Monte SanoIn a photograph I am small in a snowfall that hardly counts. I didn’t live in this yard or this house; my self before I knew trees and snow or memories lived here, but I never did. Kindled by the smell of bark or soft ground I sometimes think it is a faint awareness of what came first, but there is no way. I am only ever in the basement of this place, though these days I want, and am bound to (maybe) always want, children on a mountainside, trees, neighbors.

The future (believed by a seventeen-year-old boy), Adolescence, California; a heart, two hearts
Adolescence In this house we were married, we took off all our clothes, we were grown but still in love. We were smart and knew ourselves and each other, and made dinners and breakfasts and were still in love. We were tender and we walked through our halls and we fought and had time and were in love. We were good and honest and knew each other and we stayed in love.

Different skin, Los Angeles; self esteem

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 4.55.27 PMLet’s just live in a different skin every day for four years. It’ll be fun, we thought. We don’t live that way anymore thank god.

Inside of worry, Oakland; Un-wrung hands

Screen shot 2012-10-25 at 11.44.20 PMYou can not have a job or know where you stand but still live somewhere. This place was ten times bigger than I could manage and ten time smaller than is necessary to exist, the steps could take years to climb and the earth could fold in on itself a hundred times in one morning. I meant to learn something here and instead kept learning and forgetting again and again and again.

Between a ribcage, San Francisco; My whole self

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 4.59.20 PMHere I nearly thought I had stopped existing. I thought maybe everyone who had said they felt their heart would burst had meant it absolutely. I could stop the way it ached, I thought, by swallowing my love whole, but I would need him in the world to lean in to. I wanted to live in one place where we were the same and one place where we stayed the way we were, knees touching. That night I moved into my ribcage and never really left.

Everywhere we never lived; A host of other lives

Screen shot 2012-10-26 at 5.25.48 PMEveryone is having the same conversations. On the water we had the same conversation we’d had every night for months with someone else, as they likely had every night with someone else for months before. In a lot of other lives we scatter ourselves on the face the world to make a tower some place new. In other lives we are still always saying what a little more or a little less space could mean. We stay here and in the quiet of our home say how we could move a little north while our neighbors say the same.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *