over ten dead skunks on the side of the road
and an opossum, bleeding out in the middle
of a neighborhood street. this seems an inordinate
amount of animal death for a month and a half
worth of time. maybe I’m just becoming better
at spotting a wild carcass.
we had an opossum at the nature center; she was
a popular animal among Asian tourists I was told.
the one in the street was caught by my headlights
leaning on shaky, busted limbs. gore was pouring
out its broken mouth. I wanted to pull over and
to end the suffering. so it could not just play dead,
you know me. I couldn’t do anything but drive on.
and I wondered what would have happened had I hit
the creature with my car, swerved to knock it closer
towards the black. would that have been kindness?
I think the skunks are an omen, and the dying
marsupial is a bloody message trying to drive
home some point. I can’t speak nature to save my life.
I can glean as much meaning from a bird song as
a mustelid corpse. maybe I counted wrong. maybe
there were thirteen dead skunks.
that would have to mean something. but maybe
I’m just becoming better at spotting a wild carcass.
Eight hours between two beds
& this is where it falls apart.
I’ve never felt more rested though.
Not everyone has a light behind
them. Not everyone is lovely. There
are shambles and people who live in
them & become shambles
themselves. These are the destitute
in spirit, the lost from love & drive.
They exist, in the countless, by the scores.
A suburb is a collection of shambles.
The projects are neglected monuments
for those keeping track. Don’t ask what
for, I did not build them.
“…heading out to the property” oh! the property.
Who’s properly partying with you on your goddamn property?
Wife, kids, a nice dog. Keep up
the path and in less than a decade you too can fuck
a young, buoyant intern on “the property.”
I feel like I’m the only one on this world who thinks it’s macabre
to get married on a plantation. “People do it all the time.”
What? Would you get married on a murder site? In a gas chamber?
What if outside it were pretty? Would you get married where
people were raped? What if it happened 200 years ago?
What if the ghosts were quiet? I guess ghosts are quiet here.
I want to get married in a graveyard full of confederate corpses,
& we can dance on their graves to ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,’
& then we can try to conceive something in a copse of thin trees
near a headstone,
& I’ll ask you if you know about the Allen curve, & you’ll just grin,
& you’ll pull back on your wedding skirt & adjust it,
& the spacecraft will appear in a moonless, starless sky and beam us up
‘I like your hair,’ gently twirling it and
with a slight tug, you sorta whispered
in some early daylight phase. Our fingers
were linked, index only, and my brain did
that thing where it forgets where my body
ends and yours begins.
I lost it there, because the last time morning
noises poured into a city apartment window
life felt so great. It was neat, but not gaudy
like my grandpa used to say. You used to say
‘I like you,’ and ‘make some time for me,’
and ‘I’m glad I got to see you.’
Tricky, tricky. It’s easy to convince oneself
something can work when you’re the one
being chased. Maybe the story of wild sex
on New Year’s Eve in a post-modern lake house
basement bedroom was too much too soon.
It’s not fair. I had so many other good things
to share, but like, what’s the point? You really
to give a shit.
yo, you straight up ditched on a date
in my dream. or, rather, you rejected my invitation
out for drinks
in my very own dream. wild. the indifference
is astounding. I am astounded.
it was so much
like a switch
the way you went from pulling me in for a kiss,
and then kicking me out of your apartment
before 9 am. on / off
jesus christ, you didn’t even go to church that one time.
I like brunch, you know. I can laugh and talk
about fashion with the rest of the girls.
I had a crazy fantasy. I fantasized about having a wife
for the first time in
probably years, I don’t know.
fantasy wife, wild. she was a grad student and I
was a professor (laughable) and I was older
but not bent yet, and she had long black hair
and quoted William Carlos Williams to me,
and I asked her to marry me in the kitchen.
she always wore black, too; I didn’t know her
name. maybe it’s an omen, this fantasy.
maybe the witches are closing in.
you hadn’t heard of The Band before.
now ‘Ophelia’ always makes me think of you.
what a curse. goddamn,
ma’am, am I to be slapped by your face
hitting my thoughts every time Levon sings
‘boards on the window
mail by the door’?
yes, it’s true, it’s been a while since a girl
like you has made my arms go numb and
my mind all shaky. like you. like anyone,
seems like. my heart can be described through
bad metaphor; as in, compared to cracked stone
or dirty ice, or dull and metal.
really it’s just flesh, and it twitches and spurts just
like all the rest.
and you, you make it beat hard like unwanted
stomp yard sounds.
get me off the ground, and then, please, leave
me alone. I can’t
stand how I pant in your presence, and you, serenely
turning to anyone, saying something casual like,
“he tried to kiss me again”
Sum it up: take every cliched song, movie,
show about friendship and love, then promptly
shatter. Sounds about right to me.
That’s how it went.
What I meant to you,
vice versa, where was the losing in that? And even in a loss
do you have to plead ignorance to my identity? It’s bad enough
my romantic parts get rejected, do you have to toss
away the friend card too? As in, us existing now
relates to a tiny slice of memory, only expanding in
on itself, like only a memory can. If so, sure, fine
that’s great, but you know what would be really great?
Hearing your voice
in that familiar, lite
lilt you get when
you’re happy to see
Ryan Adams Tao Lin Grossman, just the worst
a list of names, not even a smattering. well.
You were sleepy. Watch. Intro to Barthes.
Make some sense of it all, Grammar should stay still;
rules don’t bend. What does it mean, what doesn’t it mean
Hug. It. ON.
Don’t wait for the roller coaster to stop. Hop off. It doesn’t
matter this world is fucked god we’re awful complete breakdown
of the explainable. What can’t we get wrong? What. What?
How, when where why, what & witches.
I was wrong, I’l l be the first to admit it.
Toss these words into bag, shake up, and bury in field 10 miles from town. Pray.