i can’t stop thinking about this first lifesaving face transplant which took place a couple of days ago in poland. this man is 33, he lost his face, nearly lost his life; 27 hours on the operating table and he wakes up as someone else. think of how our face determines us. think of looking in the mirror and seeing foreign features where your face should be. the pimple above your left brow has disappeared; it’s not even your brow anymore. or is it? you bite your lips, studying their structure (they seem much softer now), you’re afraid to touch yourself because the delicate tissue might unravel. suddenly you discover a birthmark. your birthmark? it’s not yours. this is a birthmark of the dead man who’s looking at you from the mirror. is he really dead? if he is, why did he choose to reside in your body? this is your face but you are not the owner. this is not the face your mother kissed when she picked you up from that gravel path that was covered with blood seeping from your knee and softly wiped your dirty cheeks furrowed by tears. you don’t ever want to meet his mother. they constantly remind you how lucky you are to be alive but you can’t stop musing on how your frightened your wife seemed when she opened her eyes and someone she had yet to accustomed herself to recognize was leaning his head on her bare shoulder. there’s still a dead man’s face in the mirror, the only man who dies twice.
he began “the serious talk” now — i have no idea what to do. i feel trapped inside my own room. i want to throw this phone out of the window and never, never leave my house again. he’s going to be mad, maybe he is mad now, maybe he’s been mad at me the whole time, and i don’t know how to deal with it. should i say sorry for nothing i’ve done? or should i pretend i’m strong enough to face this situation head-on? i don’t know. i want to speak different languages to him. sorry is so much less meaningful than przepraszam. lo siento — innacurate. désolée is not something i’m willing to say, tut mir leid won’t do. perhaps i should stick to polish. nie wiem, no sé, ich weiss nicht, je ne sais pas. i don’t know what to do. can you hear me? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. my mind is a thicket of tautologies.
this one person i’ve been afraid to talk to for months just messaged me. the last thing i want to do now is to drag him into this mess. i just don’t think that anyone understands that by avoiding him i express how much i actually care. and it wouldn’t be easy to explain even if i knew how to talk about such things. (it used to mean something but now i know nothing.) it’s not between the two of us anymore, it’s become a rather crowded affair; anyone can share their own part of the story, anyone can invent feelings for me. i’m tired.
everything hates me today. i woke up with gregorian chants resounding in my head and then i fainted on the bus. i’ve been reading poetry like mad, it cures nothing, and there are way too many eyes i’d like to look into. everything i say is a contradiction of what i think, and even my thoughts stammer. please hold my hands as i speak so they don’t see how much i tremble.
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says
we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis