By Sennah Yee
I used to like it when you’d call me mysterious. Mysterious is oxblood lipstick. Mysterious is ink peeking out from a cuff. Mysterious is smoking on a rooftop that is not yours. Mysterious is gauze curtains pooling onto the floor. Mysterious is a faint moon while the sun is still out. Mysterious is a languid crowd. Mysterious is wearing roses, lace, bone.
But mysterious is foreign. Mysterious is mute. Mysterious is nude. Mysterious is being left behind in a room that is not yours. Mysterious is being imagined. Mysterious is an excuse to write me off.
Everyone loves older men and even older cities. But women must be girls, and preferably girls from out of town.
But I’ve lived here my whole life. And when you died, I fell asleep and dreamt of somewhere with no men and no time. I ate creatures from the sea with no silver and no company. I taught myself to drive, in a car with no roof and no brand. My hair was silver, knotting in the wind, but I did not reach out to brush it. I was alone, but I was not left behind.
Therapy is wearing all black. Therapy is sheer glass. Therapy is eye contact. Therapy is scales of one to ten. Therapy is forced chemistry. Therapy is making you squirm. Therapy is running on the spot. Therapy is counted on a shiny wristwatch. Therapy is telling you to go. Therapy is letting you stay. Therapy is lush furniture. Therapy is sleet on windows. Therapy is sleepy mountains. Therapy is far away from you.
I’ve never had the urge to call you daddy, the courage to wear all white, the occasion to sport silk, the pride to wear diamonds abroad, the poise to paint my nails on a train, the time to paint them a second colour before the train stopped, the grounds to run in heels, the concern to say I love you first, the nerve to take it back.
Do not say you would die for me. I would not want to live for you.