I am sitting here with this feeling, and it is a familiar feeling, and it is my heart.
I am needing to reassure myself that I am not writing this letter to you, that I am just writing it, simply writing it, simply letting it wander out.
I feel sad. My heart, my chest, what fills my chest, something like the taste of copper, like sucking on a penny, like licking a 9 volt battery and getting a little shock. It’s here, a little shock.
It has never been so apparent, the workings of shame embedded in my being so old and outside, yet all the same my own deep thing to tend to, untangle, air out and hold.
And I guess it’s true, now I am writing to you. I am writing to you from me and also to myself.
But isn’t that a letter? The linear scroll is scraping against the pavement.
In my delusions I am literally some kind of a hero and that is embarrassing. What holds the reigns, I think of some force, nameless, shapeless within and outside this bodily container. Sending signals into outer space and actually hearing back.
I can tell you the joy of this spring day, the brightness of 4PM light, the spirits that burst through at this time. It’s almost too much of a drunken feeling to manage. It’s almost too much.
There is my heart again. You know, I haven’t been able to feel my heart in so long.
And now I pause, and just stare at my hands, still on the board.
And in this moment I decided this letter is no longer for you, because I know that you don’t want it.
This letter is for my heart, and I can say anything to my heart.
Right now, I am saying to my heart, I am sorry. I am sorry that I wrapped you up in cotton batting and put you away all tampered down and quiet. I am sorry that I hid you from myself, that I turned away from you while we were sleeping, and on purpose, many times.
I am sorry that I turned away from you, my heart. My beautiful, my tender, my sensitive, my loving, my strong, strong heart. And I am so sorry that I put you to rest so often as to no longer feel anything between my ribs and the sky.
Math Bass was born in New York. They live and work in Los Angeles. Their recent solo exhibitions include Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018/2019); The Jewish Museum, New York (2017); Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2017); Oakland Museum of California (2017) and MoMA PS1, New York (2015).