H E R M E N E U T I C C H A O S J O U R N A L
T A L I A W E I S Z
Talia Weisz is originally from Montreal and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Her previous (and first) chapbook, When Flying Over Water, was published by Plan B Press in 2009.
T R E E H U G G E R S
This is how I find you: scraping greenish fur off a slice of bread, pushing the powdery flakes to one side of your plate, opening a crusty jar of marmalade. “Hey Sophie,” I say, trying to sound casual. “How old is that bread?”
You take a bite and chew thoughtfully. “It’s actually not so bad.”
“You don’t have to eat that,” Angie tells you, and reaches for her wallet. “Go get some real food.”
“This is real food,” you say with your mouth full, waving away her five dollar bill.
You wear garlands of fake flowers in your hair, Mardi Gras beads, rainbow knee socks, and you remind me of Frida Kahlo -- that heart-shaped face, that wisp of a unibrow. When people ask you where you’re from, you smile breezily: “Oh, I’m not really from anywhere.” I am seventeen and you are eighteen, and I follow you around like a golden retriever. When people ask us if we are sisters, you squeeze my hand: “Yes, in another life.” I start wearing your cast-off sweaters and vests, your costume pearls and sashes. You like to dress me up, embellish me. “There,” you say, pinning a silk daisy in my hair. You step back to appraise me, like I’m a Christmas tree you’ve just crowned with a star.
We wander downtown Montreal. Hands clasped, hairy legs swinging in unison, we amble up side streets, in and out of shops. “Mmm,” you say, uncapping a vial of perfume and inhaling deeply. “I love musk. It reminds me of old churches. Here.” You hold the bottle under my nose, and I breathe in, eyes closed, wanting to be transported to Venice or Budapest. When you stop to hug a tree, I hug it too. “So beautiful,” you sigh, and I sigh too, and press my cheek against the rough, peeling bark, wanting to feel what you feel in all my pores.
People come and go from your apartment at all hours, sometimes sleeping on the floor for weeks. We draw with colored chalk on the walls, finger-paint with our toes, play in a bath of cooked spaghetti. “Let’s write a song,” you say, reaching for your beat-up guitar with the missing string, and we sing without words, my voice someone else’s, free as a kite relinquished to the sky. In your kitchen, we build a sculpture from the moldy remains of food -- flaccid carrots and rubbery apple cores, a rotting moss-covered forest. “Isn’t mold pretty,” you say, “when you really look at it?” I have never really looked: all those textures and hues, abstract art born of itself.
You say you are a fluff of dandelion seed, that you travel on the wind. “Where will you go?” I ask, secretly hoping you’ll stay. I want to keep you like a lightning bug in a jar.
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