Life · love

peeling pomegranates: why we’ll never be together

Pomegranates remind me of you.

You bought a pomegranate and they seemed so foreign to both of us. I asked how you would eat it and you said you didn’t know. So then you found a video. Learning, step by step, how to peel them open.

They’ve seemed foreign to me ever since. I’ve eaten their seeds dozens of times but only when someone has cut them for me. Now I find myself living in a land where they grow readily and yesterday I finally bought one for myself.

This morning I stabbed into the shell without thinking about it at all. And this is why we’ll never be together.

I watch the way you deliberately move and it’s as foreign to me as pomegranates once were.

I don’t think; I breathe. I don’t stop; I dance.

And so I go fidgeting and feeling my way through a society constructed by thinkers.

I’ve scorched too many pans and I know it drives you crazy.

If you had it your way I wouldn’t cook at all.

I glance down, knee deep in words that mean nothing and everything, and realize my white shirt is splattered with blood.

I can hear their voices now:

Be careful.

Watch where you are going.

Cover yourself.

Stop crying.

Stay in control.

Get a hold of your emotions.

Regulate.

Reverse.

Stop.

Stop.

Stop.

We get hurt once, or twice, and we become so careful.

Tiptoeing across a broken-glass floor.

I cannot control how I move and breathe my way through this world and I refuse to stifle how I feel.

Within the pomegranate’s honeycombed pockets, I peel away red, juicy pearls, bit by bit.

You broke my heart that day and a knife stabbed into my back. Between the shoulder blades. It stayed stuck there a moment, before it twisted and turned.

I went to my acupuncturist afterward and she said the place directly behind my heart was inflamed.

Perhaps no one will ever comprehend the extremity of my felt sense, but the physicality of heartbreak cannot be ignored.

I told you, years ago, that I had started writing, and your eyes lit up. In your quiet way that drew me in, a murmur of soft excitement, you said that I “should do that.” I don’t think either of us knew in totality what you meant.

That windowed flicker initiated my fall. I wanted, so desperately, to be seen. But now that sentiment has changed. Eyes are overrated. And all I’ve ever really wanted is to be felt.

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