I have a secret

This is the kind of thing I never admit. Not hardhearted, icy, witchy I.

Now, unmedicated, working so hard late into the night and into the madrugada, when I feel desparate, tired, worn-out and broken down at not even thirty, late in the dark, sometimes when I close my eyes but am too tired to sleep, I’ve been seeing your face. I don’t know if it is because I still love you – I actually am pretty sure I don’t – but I see in my mind a glimpse of you, your white blond hair (I, ironically, prefer dark men but the only man I ever loved was Nordic blond), shining in the sun, your head thrown back, laughing a little, innocent in the light at the river’s edge of some summer afternoon. I am not sure I cry for you, exactly, more likely I cry for a more innocent time, before I saw all that I have seen and have been as broken and put back together and broken again.

When I am alone late at night in the on-call room, alone alone, frightened at all I have seen and done in the emergency room, the broken hearts and broken bodies and broken lives, mine included, when I am shocked at how old, how hard I’ve become, it is your face, laughing, in the light, that I see, that brings me to tears.

I don’t think I really want you back. But I want back our time together, that age, when I only suspected how bad it could get and didn’t know, didn’t have the proof on my own bloody hands. I hope you are happy with your new wife, your baby, or, most likely by now babies. I know you don’t talk to me for her sake. And I am not still in love with you, but somewhere, like you said, we’re still making love in my secret life, and in my real life ya no respondo como antes…I never have.

So this is for you, Dale, even though you don’t read this, no one I know reads this, and you don’t read anything from me anymore, somewhere, just know that your face on some summer day is burned into my mind and that I wish you well and thank you for everything.

Te acuerdas de mi
no soy as que el mismo flaco
de siempre
con un conato de panza
que me esta haciendo lucir
como luce una soga
cuando en medio
tiene un nudo

El pelo un poco mas corto
y una tos de cigarro
que me despierta en las noches
vivo en el mismo lugar
calle màrtires 28
y aun conservo la cama
que fermenta tu humedad

El mismo lunar
en el sitio donde tu ya conoces
voy al mismo bar
para ver si asesino mis noches
y entre una nueva cana
y el deseo de encontrarte
se me gasta la vida

Pero te extraño a rabiar
al extremo de que nuestra cama
no le ha vuelto a usar
y si me cae una aventura
la revuelco en el sofa
por no herir al recuerdo
que se anida entre el colchon

Soy el mismo de ayer
aunque ya no respondo como antes
me tendria que ver
cuando ya no se encumbra el deseo
y entre charlas de Borges y de Garcia Marquez
busco un mejor momento



  1. There is no shame in being the real you. Depression leads us to so much lonliness. It is unbearable sometimes. You are an eloquent writer and this is a sad, but beautiful post…I don’t read Spanish, but I was able to translate some of it, and I think I get the main ideas.

    I vividly remember the last man I dated when I had the feeling you describe as …”I want back our time together, that age, when I only suspected how bad it could get and didn’t know, didn’t have the proof on my own bloody hands.” He left me because I was too depressed for him to want to stay and help me. I still feel so angry and sad that I lost myself to this illness. I saw glimpses of my desperate future growing before my eyes that year.

    Your post is hauntingly beautiful.

  2. Hi Sara,
    Just checking in to see how you are doing. I hope everything is going well for you.

  3. Hey, thanks. I’m still here, I know I need to post, but it’s been rough lately with the meds, though evening out a little now with some lithium.

  4. I actually want to write a good post on guilt – I’ve been being eaten up by it lately, which probably is a sign of impending depression.

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