I am saving him in a 19th century consumptive kind of way that has me looking up youtube videos of him shouting things years ago to crowds of people I wasn’t in and I wonder if he looked for me, in those crowds of endless people but I figure he had at least one blonde girl in his bed keeping him warm, and I wonder if he ever even missed me. I made a deal with the devil a very long time ago, the Jewish-looking Jewish women of my lifetime made a deal with the devil to murder ourselves so those other women could have him, and I’m sure they would say it feels painful not to look Jewish too, and I’m sure they are right only emotional pain is not created equal with physical pain, emotional pain is alienation and antidepressants and I am dying for want of professional opportunities and because my chest is a cavern the kids I grew up with kicked into my body, and I am dying because no one ever taught me I had a right to live. I am the past he tries to forget and I am the future it hurts him to remember. He will love someone else and won’t notice the difference. If I get real drunk and close my eyes I can love someone else and it barely even hurts me. If I get real still I can live in the numbness and the pogroms never happened and white men never raped my ancestresses and I never learned how to submit and say yes to keep my family safe, and I never learned I had to submit or else be murdered, and I am dying of secrets my community has tried to forget, and I am going to wake up tomorrow and listen to a woman I very much admire give a lecture about sex and intimacy and trust, and I am going to curl up into a little ball around all the places inside myself that no one has ever touched, and I am going to write screenplays out of the places inside myself that I was saving for him, and then I am going to burn them just like Bulgakov, I bought him Bulgakov’s famous novel because Bulgakov burned his novel three times and insisted it should be burned after his death but instead it was smuggled out of Russia and then it was published and now it is world-famous, I am carrying Bulgakov around with me like a memory, alongside Israeli condoms with Hebrew writing all down the sides, I am writing journal entries that are also love letters and I am calling them poetry, I am the monster who swallowed the girl he might have loved and I know that.

I know.

Writes all the things. Photographs the light. Smiles at odd moments. Reads in the shower. Sings to the trees. Hopes a lot.

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