Of Absence by Linda Gregg
You’re not good with humans. It was close to midnight. I was nursing a bottle. I may or may not have been part of the conversation. You don’t know how to be with them. You don’t even like them, do you.
I felt someone nudge my shoulder, and I realized they were talking about me. To me. But if that is the case, another argued, why do you have your heart on your sleeve? Is it some kind of a trick?
Snatches of conversation, now. I haven’t thought about that in a long time. I wanted to say: maybe I am not really good at this—being human. But who is?
These days: my moods are ever volatile. I confess that I have never taken the initiative to observe them until this year. Euphoric for months, and then—emptiness. Elation, followed by loathing. The heart—my heart, it seems—is carnivorous. It devours, is voracious, is merciless.
Deeply exhausted. Maybe even shattered. I think this is enough for now. I think I have done as much as I could with this.
I climb the mountain.
Up steps the moon has already taken.
Of Absence. Of things broken.
To see if the moon is a mouth.
To see if I am what it wants.
This is from The Sacraments of Desire by Linda Gregg, published by Graywolf Press, 1995.