by Michael Lujan Bevacqua
I flip through the untouched yellowed pages of a phonebook where photographs of smirking physicians remind me that there is no cure for what I feel.
Symptom 1, the itching, restless dancing of fingers hovering above a keyboard, agonizing over an email to you. When I glance away, they audaciously type, “tåya’ åmot para guinaiya.”
I spend sleep-starved nights tabbing page after virtual page from malware infected medical sites, each of which is sponsored by the fact that there is no cure for what I am feeling right now.
Symptom 2, my poor eye, crooked and scratched, sprained in its socket from straining to watch you from afar. As my eyes fail in frustration, the normally invisible detritus of the world’s afterglow mimes the plot of the most recent installment of my life, “Tåya’ åmot para guinaiya”
I Whatsapp friends and foes photos of my symptom-sick form, hoping for some positive prognosis, but each autocorrected response reminds me that there is no – LOL – cure for love.
Symptom 3, the sensuous scent of sitting next to you sticks to my skin. It fills the world around me with humming that drones like a choir of grandmothers in church, “taiåmot I guinaiya”
I write my symptoms on unloved molded cardboard and stand at roadsides screaming at those driving by. Their honks remind me in barking disunity that what ails me is incurable.
Symptom 4, the claw-like shadow of suffering flesh upon my wrist where, with twinkling eyes you once tapped it like a machete preparing to split open a coconut, comforting me as my skin shrieked “tåya’ åmot para este na guinaiya.”
I empty my pockets and kneel in church, my lungs empty from a morning of shouting amens and hallelujahs. Men in suits, stern like crosses glare at me, admonishing me for not remembering that there is no cure for love.
Symptom 5, The flag-forming lesions on my chest where once we hugged a moment too long and you snapped my ribs, tumbling into my chest, falling face first into my heart, chipping your tooth. The air escaping from the crack hissing at me “tåya’ siña un cho’gue put este na guinaiya”
I sharpened a knife and as I traced a Kafkaesque exit door on the flat of my arm, the blood cursively dripped and dipped forming a sentinel who reminds me that my cure lies past this door and although no one save for me can enter this door, I am not just yet, allowed to pass.
Symptom 6, Each time I close my eyes to shake you loose in the darkness. The dark is painted with the moment I first became ill. The night heaves, crying, a gloom in bloom, streaming with love-laced watercolors.
Of the moment when you sat in the ocean’s edge, beneath the sinking sun, rippling water stealing away pieces of you, as your beauty fought to a standstill the thoughtful blues and startled hues of a jealous sky.
I drove south in search of a healer who specialized in sickness that sucks the strength from you, where everything is nothing unless wrapped in the something of you. She glanced at my smiling scars and told me with an air of discomforting finality, “dipotsi tåya’ åmte para enao na guinaiya”