when you write her name

November 24, 2019

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash 

 

 

when you write her name 

 

Joaquin Fernandez 

 

After the fourth time you write her name, practicing for the finality of an ink pen on a love letter, you’re going to stop. You’re going to ask yourself, out loud, what’s gotten into you? An anxious tick, some nervous business for idle hands, grasping for someone far out of reach. Because the M isn’t perfect, you’re going to take a step back. You’re going to frown at the angles. You’re going to wish for better paper, better pens, softer light, stronger hands. Because the M isn’t perfect you’re going to go to the stationary store. Because the M isn’t perfect, you’re going to climb an old ladder to the top shelves, dusty, deep breaths and barely stifled coughs, hack lung raspy, rejected by your body like the very invasion of age. When you write her name, you’re going to want to use calligraphy. When you write her name, it’s going to be a declaration, loops and arcs, flawless circles and straighter lines. When you write her name, the M is going to be perfect.

 

Because the M isn’t perfect, you’re going to train your hands. You’re going to crush melons and double your joints, you’re going to stretch and sprain, cartilage torn, and fingers crossed and it won’t matter that it hurts. You’re going to be bruised and beautiful when you write her name.

 

Because the M isn’t perfect, you’re going to need new paper. You’re going to scour the earth, crumpled pages, matte, uncoated, gloss and silk, balled and trailing, unworthy in your wake. You’re going to learn about pulp and softwood. Because the M isn’t perfect, you’re going to build factories and towns, monuments and letterhead. You’re going to cut down trees and replant forests and whisper her name to every buried seed.

 

Because the M isn’t perfect, you’re going to invent a letter that is. You’re going to imagine new languages, all M’s and P’s, unpronounceable and ridiculous, sublime in their alliteration. You’re going to spell her name with hieroglyphics, scrawled in melting snow and sand dunes, slipping to nothing under a rising tide. When you write her name, you will stop writing her name. When you write her name, your eyes will close and you’ll see her, papering the walls of your mind, subtle, endless, inevitable. When you write her name, you’re going to see your future stretching out in front of you, a collage of everyday miracles. When you write her name, you’re going to see it in every fleeting moment. 

 

Because the M isn’t perfect, you won’t be either, but when you write her name it isn’t going to matter. Because the M will never be perfect, it’s important to write it everywhere. It’s important to scratch it onto hillsides and ancient trees, scribble it in punk bar bathrooms and admire it, impeccable amid the graffiti. Trace it onto her back with tender fingers while she sleeps and nibble it into the curve of her neck, awed and hungry. Whisper it face down into the drenched respite between her thighs. Scream it in shaky, catching breaths when she finally makes you hers.

 

Because the M will never be perfect, it will always be a little bit like this when you write her name. Because the M will never be perfect, you’re going to keep stumbling towards her with broken curves and flawed lines, ceaseless and hopeful through a forest of notebooks and a lifetime of crumpled pages in the service of that ache you can only ever satisfy when you close your eyes, when you see her face, when you write her name.

 

 

________________________________________

 

 

Joaquin Fernandez is a recovering filmmaker and South Florida native perpetually tinkering with his first novel. His work has appeared in Okay Donkey, Cotton Xenomorph, Cheap Pop and Pidgeonholes among others. He can be found on Twitter @Joaqertxranger and on his website joaquinfernandezwrites.com.

 

_____________________________________

 

 

* Read the companion piece "When You Say His Name" by Megan Pillow Davis.

 

 

 

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