09/21/2011— 9th year journal
I love you, even though you do not love me.
I am ugly. This is okay, because many wonderful things are ugly. Have you ever seen a fetus? A human fetus, I mean, it looks like a pink slimy fish, stubby-armed and alien headed. A fetus’s skin is almost translucent, and that’s where the wonder is, under the skin. Every strand of DNA encoded, unfolding, and you can see the muscles lining thread by thread, you can see the tiny heart pulsating, and if you watch it long enough it hypnotizes, in sync with the pulsating strings inside every atom in the universe.
My sister is an ultrasound technologist, and every single mother she shows their fetus to cries of happiness. People cry of happiness over ugly things, or they can.
Worms are ugly. They’re cylindrical and brown. But have you ever let an earthworm run across your hands? The cool ridges of its body on the palms of your hands, contorting and contracting? Earthworms eat the dead and break them open, letting the tiny blossoms of life inside into the soil.
I am as ugly as a worm. I only wish you loved me as the gnarled tree roots love the worm. You are as ugly as gnarled tree roots.
11/06/2011— 9th year journal
Sorry I haven’t been writing to you lately. I guess it doesn’t matter. I love you still, even if you do not see me at all.
The paper’s all line-y, I know, sorry. I tore it out of my Algebra notes sixth period. I think about you a lot sixth period.
Dear Boyfriend, in Theory
I would be such a good
love letter writer.
I would take each part of your body
like your eyes and lips, yes,
like the hard vertebrae of your spine,
like the soft curve from the crook of your knee
to your ankle,
apart one by one
color it with paint and crayons
I would stitch it up
pin it down
with words you didn’t know you wanted.
I would seal the envelope with a kiss and I
would make an honest metaphor out of you.
01/15/2012— 9th year journal
you’re not real
i know that. i know that.
you’re not real, but see
i love you
i love you even if you do not exist.
maybe if i want to bad enough…
i love you even though you do not exist.
Maybe I shouldn’t.
—Lucy Merriman is a Senior English major at Kent State University. Her poetry has appeared in Pif and Grace Notes, her nonfiction has appeared in Long Weekends, The Burr, and Ohio Magazine, and her artwork and comics have appeared in Flywheel and Luna Negra. This is her first fiction publication.
This story is part four of Broken Heart Symphony in Four Movements.
Part 1: Lucy Merriman – this is why we can’t be in love: sonata allegro
Part 2: Lucy Merriman – the girl with two hearts: variations on a theme
Part 3: Lucy Merriman – a bedtime story for invisible girls: minuet