I want the toothy smiles of the starting-in-the-beginning times to line the walls of that photo album in my brain. We had them, they were shiny and they existed before we traced the old wounds onto each others new bodies. We had new bodies then. We had shine again. We still.
After last time, that time before them, my ex-girlfriend told me (my other ex) she and I, we had been careless with each other. We had the hearts, found the space to be those hearts but then we lost the way. Lost the ties. Or, we actively untied them. They were tied. We tied but then untied them. There was a giving up, in this untying, feeling as if there was no way back to each other. That time there wasn't.
I’m not giving up. There is a smell I know. I have been carefull with them. We have shared hands that before us sometimes were more used to pushing other hands away and now, we have made new ways to press ours together.
Ylang ylang is a smell that sometimes I can hold like it has a shape, or maybe it holds me in the shape of a heart-space. It’s the smell that ties my skin to muscles to bones and then back in reverse. It’s a smell that I can see but I couldn’t begin to tell you it’s size. But it has one, a size, and it fills up my quiet parts.
When I look at the lines of your face and when we are with other people, it’s a face I’ve known, for a long time. But really I have only known your face for some months beyond twelve. But, like the smell of ylang ylang, those lines have settled into my quiet parts and they tie all the parts to other parts and I’m trying to hard to remember that it’s not just those lines, it’s not just that smell that is doing the tying. The strings are in my hands. I am doing the threading. I am doing the weaving and pulling tight. I know the knots.
When I remember that I am as full as the ylang ylang that fill me up and the threads that connect all the lost and static parts, I can hold on and be here with them. When I am myself and holding on to those lost and static parts, trusting them, all the tied and untied parts, my shape is as big as before.