From “The Opposite of Claustrophobia: Prime’s Anti-Autobiography”
I forgot admiring women who refuse to paint their lips.
I forgot the liberating anonymity conferred by travel: Mindanao, Berlin, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Istanbul became hours requiring no count.
I forgot obviating memory for what I believed was a higher purpose.
I forgot feeling you in the air against my cheek.
I forgot longing for a sky without horizon, but acceding instead to the eye’s clamor against the opposite of claustrophobia.
I forgot you thought of me as you paced the streets of a city whose sidewalks memorized the music of my footsteps dancing away from youth into courage.
I forgot I lit alleys by leaving scarlet roses whose perfume, I hoped, you would discern.
I forgot you saw each virgin moon as a ruby you wanted for adorning my body.
I forgot you startled the girl whose poetry elicits dragon scales from empathetic muscles.
I forgot England with its glazed chintzes bearing sprays of rose, peony, hydrangea and gladiola—names evoking country houses: Bowood, Amberley, Sissinghurst, Sutherland.
I forgot the rest of Greece, its national heat waiting.
I forgot you falling asleep in my skin to dream.
I forgot radiance must penetrate if it is to caress, and its price can never reach blasphemy.
—Eileen R. Tabios