This Was Meant to be Tied to a Carrier Pigeon’s Ankle

There is a long line in a short song in a precariously put together playlist that expertly expels the feelings that I have for you. It is a scavenger hunt of a task where I give you a playlist of 43 songs and say something along the lines of “here you go!” and wish you luck with my eyes from behind the screen of my phone and from three driving minutes away and just across one of two major roads in Wilmington.

I only have two pairs of jeans and I only wear one and only wash them on Sundays when I wash my sheets and lie on my naked bed wrapped in a faux-cashmere blanket as the afternoon sun seeps in through my window and warms only the tips of my ears and the tops of my cheekbones as the washing machine makes a terrible groaning noise that shouts over the crooning of my record player even from two rooms away and then the buttons on my jeans bounce against the metal of the dryer and clang until I pull out the denim and place them on my body, wriggle my thighs into the fabric, burn the soft skin on the bottom of my stomach on the top button. You are those jeans, warm and familiar even though they’re still new, burning in a pleasant and strange way that I never knew could bring me comfort.

You make me want to pour a heart, my heart, onto a page and use it as a stamp. I would dip it in ink and leave its imprint in the middle of a journal spread, press it like a lady slipper that I found in the wilderness of North Conway, New Hampshire, when I was four and a half years old. I would carve out a space in a deep, thick, hefty book, like War and Peace, and stash my heart in there like illicit drugs and then gift you the book and watch you put it on a shelf and contort your face with subtle confusion as to why it was leaking blood and ink and, more importantly, why I gave you War and Peace for Christmas and it would sit there until you got so bored that you decided that you must read War and Peace and there you will find my heart between pages six hundred twelve and six hundred thirteen.

The beating organ in my chest is a coin purse filled with glitter and moons and a lack of currency or anything helpful. If I were to be ripped from this world in one fell swoop because some omnipotent and omnipresent being was displeased with my performance in the grand scheme of things I would leave behind the moons and the glitter and perhaps an old, defunct Greek coin in my place. A whisper of a Latin or French or Spanish phrase or some combination of the three would travel along the wind that blows only on the South End of Wrightsville Beach and that bounces against the tides and onto the rocks and back again on Fort Fisher and I would purse my tongue against the tip of my two front teeth from beyond the world, my lips barely ajar as the emission of foreign words escape from them.

I will clam up and conjure thoughts of imprints of fingers on hipbones and my chest will feel as though it has a deep, gaping hole in it that only I can see and then I will wonder why and then I will remember that I grabbed my heart out of my chest and stuffed it in the novel and wonder from two driving hours away and across several major roads in North Carolina if you have found the beating proof that sits in the middle of the pages or if the blood has pooled and dripped and made the pages soggy and run onto the floor of your bedroom and stained your carpet the way I stained your sheets and instead of recalling the faint (and growing fainter) memory of fingers harshly thrust onto hipbones I will remember fingertips dancing upon spines and lips on hairlines and the gaping hole in my chest will seem less gaping and time and distance will overcome and my body heat will return to me and I will be whole again, even lacking my satchel heart, because your fingers will caress it, finding the blood that collects in your palms not grotesque, but gorgeous as you discover new scars and tattoos and honor them with your lips and wonder and ask and be answered finitely.

Leandra Lee is a prose and poetry writer based out of North Carolina, USA. She has been writing since she was 9, and went to college to obtain a BFA in creative writing, where she discovered prose poems and creative nonfiction and never looked back. She spends Sundays trying not to spiral into existential dread, and lives with her cat (Binx), fish (Mulaney), and bearded dragon (Cheeto). This is her fourth publication.

This entry was posted in Creative Non-fiction and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.