I wish I was a better man than the one I pretend not to be.
But I am this terrible, or great, depending on what day of the week you meet me in. Sometimes I curse lies at those who mean the most to me, and other weeks don’t leave much besides second hand friendships that are nice enough to leave you with the lighter.
“You’re a pain my ass,” My father said. “But fuck. You’ll be a fighter.”
Sometime near Spring in college I liked to go out and fuck my life up when there was no getting over those math classes in a Criminal Justice Major. And when I told that asshole of a professor “THERE’S EXCEL FORMULAS THAT DO THIS FOR US,”
He pretended he didn’t hear me.
And no judgment here.
Because I do the same.
I suppose there must be something in them,
those tiresome weights, slung heavy as a promise
over her back, to make them a treasure so inseparable.
Tender past kept hidden in her pocket or pantomime heart
nestled snugly in her sleeve. I wondered,
what proof-less secrets lied in its cavernous cradle,
what passioned morning, woeful night, lay lurking
under yellow suntan dresses and laced summer sandals.
Ghosts, probably. Cloaked in bed sheets, memories for eyes,
ghoulish howls softly whispering reminders of I-love-you’s.
I’ll never know, never nerve to hear the wails
that come from unzipping a lockbox
so full and brimming with yesterday.
I need help, she had said.
Defeated, hint of disappointment
muddled with sheer fatigue.
She knows the world doesn’t care.
Did no one see you lugging such a mammoth bag of anesthesia?
Numb today, number tomorrow. What low, that high.
They probably laughed,
the brutes, pointing fingers that have never held a dream.
What mountains did you move? What oceans did you part?
What narrow arms aimed to embrace did you neglect
to come so far? I glance behind her shoulder but saw no craters,
only footprints, and marveled.
And beauty couldn’t define every flawless girls hair I’ve joyously kissed; lingering moments necessitate our purpose;quixotic reveries stolen, taken under veiled windows. Xeroxed youthful zeal.
Again, beyond cold dawn, effervescent fevers gaining heights. In jasmine kindled love, my needs overcome piety, quiets religion. Sexuality that undoes, venerates, with xoxoxo’s, yielding Zion.
Window with a view to fill my lungs,
wet air, dry eyes, smoke and a
heart full of bourbon, sipping
out of a styrofoam cup the way you did.
Old Grandad on deck and jazz on vinyl,
humming bluegrass. Tapping foot. Cast-iron
skillet and some cheese I don’t know the name of.
Its a ritual, reserved for the unusual
moment I feel like missing you,
a maligna of the mind I treat
the way old doctors did insanity.
Summon a memory of the body,
the carnage of love, sapphire wounds;
gilded kisses lost so long ago that glass Summer.
But I don’t like the taste of whiskey any more,
my cigarettes don’t have menthol,
and lyrics sound like people I used to know
but have nothing in common with any more.
Friends lost for no particular reason
other than growing apart as people.
Strangers I shared death with.
Her kiss is a relapse, misfortune,
worsening of my worst impulses;
an awful influence full of irresistible.
Her words are drugs and drugs are a clutch,
til highs do us part and lows make us
whole again. Bags of heavy yesterdays
weigh down, and I don’t know what to do with myself.
Taken hands, hushed words, rushed stalls-
what a waste to not grab waist and do
a four letter word (love). Plans to keep
and make her a home, 5PM lockdown, rush hour,
crowded public when doubts double and my mouth
taste like cinders. Slipping into a thought of her
like a favorite pair of jeans. Snug, familiar,
warm; she fits well. Run my thumb along the holes
and coffee stains, wonder what memory or feeling
the moment will settle as, when the honeys and the moons
fade. If my name will be a sigh, wistful as a cloud,
or vague as rain humming to what the radio plays.
A feeling haunting me in the distance, a reminder
that you are in tangles and I am tangelsome.
Still I pray for relapse and disaster,
addiction and her sex to once again step into me,
far from fog and drizzled Sundays, so I might tug
on her thoughts like a shoelace. I am undone again.