She insists she is a bisexual although the sight of two women together will repulse her. ‘I’m telling you, I’m a bisexual,’ the words are echoes. A young girl in ribbons, she stands vilified in front of an audience at a recital. The same hall is used by the autistic society on Thursday nights.
She tells me she can walk barefoot from her home to the Schizophrenic Foundation. She is unaware of her nakedness and how uncomfortable I shift on the stone terrace outside her father’s house. I’ve become a daguerreotype on a wall and she will not join me.
She is not interested in a cult, she says. If I still want to be a man of letters I will have to conjure another exiled woman. Her skin reminds me of a nymph I pulled out of a rare book at Macmillan library. Her eyes look past me, the black in them tired from years of daylight sleep. They seek for something beyond the horizon of incomplete towers of concrete and steel.
‘I mean, there are times I want to be with a woman. I dream about it and I wake up sweating and crying. But I never cry in the waking world.’ Her voice has an abundance of uncertainty, one that she is unaware of. Her first mistake was giving up on language.
For whom they once were,
the odes of gods.
There are underwater monuments between us. Bare centuries have molded us into a communal charnel house of palpable desire. I want to skin her, to read verse from within her, be a haunting voice from inside her. Do you remember Zanzibar, how the boys looked at us and we could not decide whether they wanted you or me?
‘I am a Bisexual,’ she insists. She has been with many men before. Men who did not understand that her body is the ancient ruin of a thirteenth century city, with proper tombs and temples. Gaelic flutes echo from the deepest place inside her every time she tells another woman she is a virgin.
Perhaps there looms somewhere unfathomable in her the rudimentary and waning memories of my face, even now that I am with her. Maybe she will love me after campus.