But I do adore you–every part of you from heel to hair. Never will you shake me off, try as you may.

Virginia Woolf, Letters to Vita Sackville-West

Dragging nails through close-shorn skin, I am disconsolate, deeply mad; subsumed beneath wordless loss, the disembodied howl. Those oaths now shattered, fingers which clipped my ashen wings: you were my best thing, my nothing, and so I know now that you were made for me. All Icarus and sun-splintered lips, the wax-kissed blistering scourge of the flesh, we are Daedalus, iridescent, unsmiling, unseated by  failures of our own design: our blistering topography that snarls like a past.

And so I swim again, so near, always soon to slipping under, disappearing, breathing less. I will meet you beneath the waters, find you where we cannot speak, and your dark hair and damp skin soaking through your clothes, fabrics gathering dust in a corner of my wardrobe–my lover, what have you made of me?

The furious, half-enamored leprosy: like stars or the sea, I wept and then froze over.  Every gentle sigh that clung with heady talons to my gasping chest, untangled its intaglios of ingratitude and held, vertiginous, to each length of skin I sought to burn or cut away. Declarations of your affections, unretractable, you lied: Medea’s child, nobody thinks of you now. But Oxford garlands hang heavy with your name, gasp with rainwater and pour across the cobblestone loss.  The strange old streets unspooling like reels of thread–I knew them so well until they crawled, and shuddered back, held beneath the shadow of your absent redemancy and spectre of your sickening doubt.

But I have made my decisions. I have chosen to nullify our history, that life we used to love. Where veins meet whispers of bone, I recall that you are not yet gone. I wish you were, or that I could not see. Can’t you just go off, and die without me?