‘a night together’ by Hannah Kaya


i look at him and know
he bleeds moonshine and stardust
cigarette smoke and coffee in the morning
too much cocaine and whiskey soaked denim
i sharpen my incisors on his calves, his inner forearm, the hair emerging from the softness of his
arrive at the apex of his sternum
pierce the skin
and suck

the nights are too hot with the fan off, but the rattling it makes keeps us up with its rotational
suffocates us with its sliced air
so we opt not to sleep
tumbling in and out of serpentine conversation
drifting between this and that
fumbling for words over the clamour of the sushi restaurant closing downstairs

topics of conversation include but are not limited to:
what I ate for lunch as a 3rd grader
his realistic dream pet
the most perfect build and release in any song ever (Edith Piaf, Millord)
the time he made his mother cry
a night we came so close to grasping The Unimaginable Vastness of Being that we collapsed in
on ourselves in spiralling solitude only to reemerge weeks later in a laundromat with a man
named Jim, a plastic cup of coffee, and a sense of dread

his sweat

[butchers in shadow,
we carve up the silence of the night
fortified by an arsenal of quips, anecdotes, bon mots, and “Witty Repartee”
create sizeable yet digestible portions
masticate words into sentences
grind structure out of regurgitated energy made emotion made prophecy
an exercise in bromidic fantasy
filtering the dark through onanistic communion

your breath the semi-serrated edge of a knife made only for butter and maybe soft cheeses, not
for this night this black night it’s too tough too tough for your meagre breath your poor insatiable
breath hot like fire no like embers fading into the night grasping for what the stars, communion,
god and a good fuck?]

the walls of his apartment are porous
and soon we too come to mimic the walls
exhausted from sustained exposure
the relentlessness of being with another human
in a bed
at night

what liberates you binds me, I say
don’t do that, he says

we are horizontal creatures, he reminds me,
bound to serve a hungry flatness [masticating darknesss]
this explains the simultaneous fear and pleasure we experience when flying, I reply
the illusion of transcendence with the gut punch of remembrance
we are icari, we say
but the wax is expensive and we’re tied to a machine which demands our continuous labour and
attention, and which nurses silent the ubiquitous feelings of alienation and dread with soft
lullabies at night from vibrant screens, the guardian, and pornhub.com
(So ubiquitious they are hardly worth mentioning
So ubiquitious the cliche swallows itself, births itself, is made and unmade by itself)

the key to progress is compromise, so the story goes

“sometimes you smell like fresh coffee
sometimes like rainwater
sometimes no scent at all
that’s when I can tell”
he says
“that i’ve lost you”

i’m here, i say
next to you
feel the humidity of my breath on your neck?
the sweat from my belly on your back?
the dreams that torment you at night, are they not mine too?

he won’t look at me
at least
he doesn’t

it’s 3am: the witching hour
i’m overcome by a wanderlust so profound i can feel it in my toes
to listen would be to fly too close to the sun
to scorch my waxen skin on The Unimaginable Vastness of Being
that infinite, sprawling nothing-at- all
so i hold you tight
and occupy your weary mind with metaphorical transference
i dazzle you with my agile imagery
softly spinning verbiage, syntax, and symbolist imaginings
like, have you ever noticed that this time of night feels like flying through turbulence?
amplified, electric, alert and focused
emergency mode
my favourite place of residence

The child of the great fall from sun to ocean in one blistered breath yields his wisdom to me:

when air becomes fire, and you feel your lungs burn like the heat of the body beside you in
sleepless East Coast never-ending darkness of summer night, turn back; you’ve gone too far.




Hannah Kaya is a thinker, performer, and activist based in Montreal. Her work offers ludic, participatory, and performative methods of enacting radical imagination. She is the co-founder of Fishbowl Collective – a glitter-punk, feminist clown company promoting insurrectional and intimate dialogue, and the Togethering Lab – an  participatory & interdisciplinary experiment that plays with ways of being together, and collaborates with the elephants collective. Sometimes, she writes poetry about the things that happen to her in her life.

Copyright © 2018 by Hannah Kaya. All rights reserved.

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