The Heavy-Handed Lover

By Haley Walsh

With heavy hands he laid the pen on the paper and I watched the blunt streaks blur benevolence in my name. It’s like watching someone stir their coffee too quickly and noticing, through your peripherals, the trickle of a messy, direct life creep down the white ceramic. But this is in plain sight. I circle around certainty, whispering penciled cursive and watch as the tip of his ball point pen stains an ever widening spot. I close my eyes and imagine it sinking through the pages beneath, and through the table to drip on the floor. My toes subconsciously shuffle, nervously, in the imaginary ink and my mind takes hold of the metaphor. I imagine myself bumping the table as I jump up to run. And everywhere I’d go I’d stain your words on the ground. And everywhere I’d go my mascara would blur with the blue. And everywhere I’d go I’d try to wash it away (but salt water never seems to get the ink out). And everywhere I’d go, you could follow. I love you: lead words with iron anchors that sink to the pit of my stomach and churn the waters.