4.12 / December 2009

Mud Cakes

On our first date we bought a plant.

We watered the plant every week. The compost was so fresh we tasted it with our tongues just because. Then we made out. Fingers to skin, finding new ways to feel with human hands the strange glow of a body in the night, we baked mud cakes in our mouths. We did what our bodies told us to do. Didn’t put up a fight. Whether or not we understood the limits of anatomy, there was no stopping our desire to know one another completely — as if one thing, I guess.

We hung the plant in the sunlight and went our separate ways in the daytime. In the evening I took down the plant and whispered into its stems about how easy it would be if only she and I could live together in a clay pot somewhere. Our roots would wrap round one another and become at some point indistinguishable from the shit in which we stood like flowers waiting for sunshine. I wanted that more than anything, I told the plant. More than anything I wanted that.

After three weeks the plant grew brown at the edges. Our skin grew accustomed to the other’s touch. But we kept on watering the plant. We searched for new ways to feel with our hands. Both fell short of their goal, which was, I guess, to reinvent the feeling of those first few nights together — a few weeks of bliss, piss in the pot. We resolved to water the plant more often and to make out more often and to listen to our bodies more often and to leave the plant in the sunlight all day long, from then on, forever and for-whatever-reason.

She moved in with me. We slept with the plant between our bodies, glowing. We watered the plant every night and hung it in the sunlight during the day. Fresh compost every week, it glowed. Within a month the plant was dead. All the leaves fell off and we tried to sew them back to the stems but they crumbled in our fingers becoming black and smelling badly of death. So we sewed our skins together, in order that we might construct a patch quilt, the story of our lives lived as one thing, together. Both fell short of their goal, which was, I guess, to be in love and to be happy, as one plant, one body, forever. We ripped the plant out the pot. We ripped out the roots, and with it our skin. Our patch quilt wrapped the ripped roots to ready them for transport. We buried both in the night and found a new way to feel with our bones the glow in the dark of something we didn’t understand and never will.

The sun rose on a fresh mound.