When we are lying on the bed and the sun begins to break upon the window pane, I can’t help but wish I spent more time in chemistry class. See, I never really showed my face in that part of the curriculum; every time someone pulled out a bunsen burner I was knee deep in art bar poetry rants. But now, as the sun molds shadows into the concave of your back and I watch you exhale breaths in density levels I never learned about I want I can’t help but wish I spent more time in chemistry class. When I see our time together dissolve into soluble moments that have nothing to do with solving anything, I want to to catch them and measure them for worth. I want to stay here until we find out the hypothesis of our time together. I want the equation for what is enough.
And it makes me think about the time before this, when chemistry had nothing to do with measurement and everything to do with enough. When momentum was effortless; words, songs, voices; a clean, warm laundry pile of unspoken thought. And I wish I could do that, measure our time together; divide it into piles of clean and dirty, decide what to keep and what to cast off. But these days indecision is the only thing that has a constant density level for me; every time I tilt the scales in one direction, I find a part of you on the other side, quietly dismantling my thoughts.
So how do you know when to put the scales away? Because I’m lying here beside you, trying to measure the weight and volume of our worth, and I don’t know when I started to add things up. I don’t remember when it wasn’t enough anymore for you to just be there, when I started to try and find the mass of our time together multiplied by the density of what pulled us apart. And I don’t have a scale with me, but I remember the tipping point moments; the weight and volume of a heart bruised by moments that left a mark, coupled with the quietest intimacy a heart could ever want. Like two palms, open, facing up.
So I reach out to feel the breath of you, wonder if I can encapsulate all of the words that we have said to each other in my palm, if there is a way to measure this. I wonder, if I weighed myself would I be able to break down for you all of the parts of myself that already carry a part of you, that will continue to go on, even if we do not? I think about the idea that we contain ourselves, as well as each other, how we are vessels not only for ourselves but also for our thoughts. I think about the ways in which inspiration takes place and shape inside of us. Are we this to each other? Do we carve out space inside of each other, in the crook of lower backs and raveled palms? Is this where density hides from us?
Because when I think about you, and I do, I wonder which places are richer, and which ones lack. I wonder about the losses that certain parts accrue; the parts of my heart that feel the heaviest now, as a result of our time together, and if that kind of weight can be subtracted from the kind that strengthens my back. I think about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and how the main character has to travel backward through negative memories in order to find the beautiful ones that kept him on track. But, see, I never had a problem holding onto beautiful memories, it’s the negative ones that I lack. But I’m remembering. You’re right here in front of me and I’m searching for the density of moments that have passed us and the only thing I can hear is my heart. So I count the beats per minute, per hour, trying to find a rhythm that will help me build an equation for my thoughts.