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Journal: Marrow

With my schedule so disrupted I haven't been able to write for weeks, though I have tried.  Mostly I set up my laptop and then wander around the apartment, or through the stacks of the library, feeling lost, at a loose end.  I know these changes are positive -- my life is heading in a good direction now, our finances will be secure, I will be writing full-time in barely more than ten months.  And this is all good.  Why is it that when everything goes well for me the words all dry up?

The last time this happened, I had met you, and I was so happy, so relieved to find happiness, that every concern seemed of no consequence.  I felt light every day, filled with joy, buoyed on a perfect, peaceful blue sea.  And I could not write.  I would kiss you and think, "I'll never write again; not with him around.  I am too happy here.  I have nothing to fuel it."

And now here we are, happy again, now that all the money concerns are finally over.  We have everything to look forward to.  And I cannot write.  I blame it on the new job and the rapid changes but I know the truth: it's you, Bluebird.  You make me so glad to be alive that I can't feel the anger anymore, the cynicism, the fear, the injustice.  All I can feel is good.  Good makes for terrible fiction.

Last night I thought perhaps there is some spell at work here, some magic that siphons all the words out of me and holds them somewhere, some place I can't get to.  While you slept I touched you, as if I might find some trick in your skin, some way to reverse what you've done and get it all back.  I ran my hand over your chest, felt the frankness of your bones, the tiny twin ridges where your ribs join, the cleft below your sternum.  I felt your heart below, the original drum.  Your hand lay across your stomach and I traced your arm with my fingers, felt the shape of everything inside you, the long strong bones that angled at wrist, cabochons of carpus, sharp peaks of knuckle.  And all at once the words released and fled through my fingers and back into me, a burst and a rattle like a flock of starlings, and I kept touching, kept touching until you rolled away and protested in your sleep.  And even then I didn't stop.  I pressed myself to your back and my lips to your neck, and everywhere our skin connected, warm and vivid, the rush of words shuddered in.  You had locked them all away down in your bones.  I imagined the dark of your marrow a jumble of letters, Times New Roman twelve-point font, the curls of lowercase As and the light elegance of Ls and Ts and the sibilants and the consonants and the vowels, compressed, black, and vital.  And all I have to do to get them back is touch you.

When we made love I rocked back against you and howled, and later you said, "I never heard you moan like that."  But it wasn't only you that filled me.  It was the words.

Lady writer on the TV radio

Flogging the revisions, some short stories, and also I hate the sound of chewing.