Tag Archives: Love

Bedtime

They were laying in bed.
She said how her dad had gotten into a fender bender,
but he was okay, and the car was fine,
and that she went swimming at the gym,
and then came home,
and waited for him to come home.
He breathed shallow,
eyes mostly closed.
He sat up and said he needed to go home.
And she laughed.
He got up and got dressed and slipped his beanie on,
and left their apartment.
Confused, she waited for him.
Twenty minutes later,
he came back, short of breath, panting.
He undressed and washed up in the bathroom.
Then came into their bedroom
He asked her how her day was, and what she did.
She repeated that her father had a minor car accident,
but he was fine.
And she went swimming at the gym.
He laid down next to her and told her,
a friend of his,
had gone swimming at the gym,
and then she got lost driving in the suburbs near her parents house
and drove mystified along yellow terraces,
making u-turn after u-turn,
until she came to Broadway.
And at the crosswalk were a parade of dwarfs,
and yellow cab duck cars,
shining happy sunshine rhythm through the trees.
And he turned and told her,
that she should meet his friend,
that they would like each other.
They have a lot of common.

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The Loop

Daniel was told by a psychiatrist
that there were past lives,
well…
the psychiatrist crossed his arms.
It’s more like a library of other lives
that one
if bored enough,
could pain themselves into seeing.

Black spaces
summoned into light with a dog whistle.
It must be pushed through a canal
or blown like air into the bottom of a flume.
Worlds within worlds,
hearts within hearts.
He imagined in this space he used to be a viking.
Or an alien.
Although in reality, he knew it didn’t work like that.
He couldn’t get the fantasies off his mind
as he stared out his apartment window
at five in the morning,
drinking coffee since two-thirty.
He looked at his neighbors window.
Watching the strip of light
beneath a bedroom door.

Daniel was told
by a stub-fingered card counter
that he met in Salinas,
that he could get there,
if he stayed up for three days
and opened all the doors and windows
and ate particular seeds.
He was not allowed to roast them.
Or drink more then one glass of water a day.
So that’s what Daniel did.
This is what he saw.
.
Green-gray sky
dirt road kicking red dust.
Lloyd’s olive work pants layered in soot and ash,
worn Atlas gloves in the back pocket.
They talked about who they used to love.
The conversation was very short.
Dawn in a white dress,
walking barefoot,
beside Lloyd back to their house.
Her thumb carried her open-toed shoes
that she slung over her shoulder.
Dawn swayed back and forth on the road.
The hills collapsed and rose near the horizon.
They were not rolling,
They inhaled and exhaled,
breathing body of Atlas,
ruddy lungs of under,
a place Daniel would say,
and did say
“you could walk all over,
or stay still,
and have the same experience.”
Lloyd pulled a cigarette from his ear
and cupped his hands as he lit a match.
The fire brightened his face.
He continued talking.
After thirty seconds,
Dawn stopped listening to Lloyd’s joke-chatter
the words Daniel could hear but not make out,
but he could tell it was nervous chatter,
based on the way Dawn looked more at the trees
and the queer tone of sky,
the lips of heaven.
She asked him to stop talking.
Because she had stopped moving.
And he had walked ahead.
And she reached for Lloyd’s wrist.
And he turned his wide body around.
She wanted to tell Lloyd a story.
It was time to match the blueprint
against something other than structured chaos,
too familiar with the way,
that someone lost in the forest
continues to make the four wrong turns,
stuck in a self-imposed circle,
damned to the loop.
The story involved choices.
Best described as a lack of choice.
And more like
“Well, shit just happens.”
The story was about no choices
in that, let us say
that a train on a lay of track
has a choice.
It can continue.
It can return,
step-by-step,
rail-by-rail
or
it can stop and rust.
A story told in the middle,
like the one Dawn (finally) tells,
as Lloyd pinches his tongue
and they walk
in the way and the waiting,
a world and a blade of grass
sitting between them.
Same thing.
A story, a device to suggest another story.
The narrow choices of the train
swallowing coal and cinder like Dimetapp.
.
“They had dated for a year but never slept together.
Well, they slept in the same bed.
But, you know.
He had…drug-store problems, I think he felt
something…small, I guess,
like in the shadow of his brother.
Ovid.
His brother’s name was Ovid.
Ricky was, like, a simpler name.
I dunno.”
Dawn laughed at herself.
“Ricky is an alright name.”
She stopped walking and softly kicked at a pebble
that limped along the space between the grass and the road.
A sad pebble.
It plopped in the ditch water,
and Lloyd,
realized there was a ditch there,
and tossed his loose smoke there,
spitting tobacco from his lips.
“It’s hard to say what happened
though none of our friends…
and then before it made sense,
she had fallen down the stairwell.
It sounded awful.
I was asleep on the couch.
It was that abode house…
you remember it, I bet.
You were there, I think.
The one on Anodyne St.”
Lloyd nodded.
Lloyd didn’t remember the house.
“The house with the really hard couch, it was like,
a wicker basket.
The stairs were hard but sort of like clay.”
There was an emphasis and her Texas twang sat up on clay.
“She made like, a soft thud.
I looked a the step later.
There was a dent.
..
But, I guess it could’ve been damaged from before.
Oz thought she was dead.
She was sprawled out,
she didn’t even react,
that girl,
she was like perfectly still.
I can’t believe I don’t remember her name.
Ricky stepped over her to get to the car.
There was a cab outside,
to take them to the airport.
They had a flight that day!
Oh my god, I remember now.
God.
He was high.
He was always…high.
It goes without saying, I guess…
those times…
I guess if he weren’t high.
He just wouldn’t be Ricky.
..
..
I don’t think he thought,
but I don’t think it would’ve been any different,
if he knew we were awake.”
Lloyd heard a frog hiccup.
He wanted to go find it and say hello,
but he could tell Ovid about it when they got back inside.
“Oz and I tried to go back to sleep.
He did.
…I couldn’t.
…She snapped clean to while I stood…
it was just like she just…
and Ricky…
I asked her if she was flying or if Ricky was just going alo…
they were both…
his cab was gone…
no waiting…
she made me promise I would
teach English in Taiwan.
She gripped my wrist
and she moved in to kiss me…
and…she nearly was gonna miss her flight…
and…I got her in a cab
and…she mouthed “Taiwan” to me as it sped off.”
..
“But you weren’t there, Lloyd, were you?
I thought you were Oz.
…a cab came back,
It was Ricky.
He was the one that missed his flight.
He had left maybe an hour before her.
He saw through security, and something happened.
Something always happened.
Or, I guess the right things just never happened.
She ended up boarding before he did.
He just laughed and said it was “bullshit,
that shit just happened.”
and
“Fuck that”.
And Ricky said he walked out of the airport.
And hailed a cab.
And as the family in his cab got out,
paying the cabby,
Ricky vomited on the child.”
.
They went inside the house.
Ovid wasn’t home, but Lloyd would remember
to talk about the frog tomorrow.
Notes in the blueprints
a ledger of a past,
here in the sequestered,
sleeping among the horses in the stable.
Their house with no doors
wind of the deflating hills
moving through the house like an outlaw.
Gin poured into plastic cups,
that neither of them drank,
silent on the elevator,
sitting out on the villa,
red clay birthing
a simple name without words.
Dreams revealing the nature of their loops.
They took their four turns
while looking at each other on the villa
and Lloyd said
that in his last life, he dreamed he was a cartographer.

Three Small Stones

Waves come running
some small, some large.
They’re inconsistent
as sample dirges from a master
sound to native ears.
The waves crash orange
along the shore of the East River.
Harold, Robert and Cassandra
play cards, chain smoke
up on the roof.
Good getting done in the old shoes.
Cassandra says it gets hotter at night.
Harold thinks of the clouds
that have hovered over the city for weeks,
lingering, nascent
a promise made that went forgotten.
Pears fall clumsy from a tree
that grew through the neighbors building.
Robert clambers on top of a tall chimney
and squats, though there’s a chair,
and he notes
that the waves are growing.

Empty amethyst of our lives
protecting us from the loose juice.
Dawn bought Oz tango lessons for Christmas
and they stayed dry and warm in the drawer.
Infinite loops leading to infinite failures.
Diagrams drawn on the back of a lager label,
one Cassandra had torn off the bottle,
detailing how a young woman can own a young man
using three sentences.
When Harold got out of the Air Force
he used his GI footing to get his masters in poetry.
He found himself using clamps to crack nuts,
more interested in drawing portraits
of a falling sky,
or looking at old photographs of strangers
than listening to an older woman
discuss the form of things
and how to count.
He received letters from Daniel,
and he wondered how Daniel got his address in Eugene,
but he didn’t wonder after he read the letters.
Some people have a way of knowing.
Here in the cold space
are Warm whispers
beside a daughter of America’s shoulder
with crossword puzzles
and bright skin
all known from a borrowed tune
listed in a podunk almanac
from the back of her hatchback
notes on being a loose-lipped survivor
sleeping in moss and mist.
Here are notes how it feels
to not fit into a suit,
or tell a tailor that you just don’t know.
Pull up your pants,
roll up your sleeves,
when there is no breeze
no jacket is really warm or cold
just an addition to a neutral feeling.
So, Harold read Camus, Dante and Milton.
He drew partial extracts from a nearby sunset,
noted the color and shape of things he could see
handed Robert a pair of 8’s on the fold out table,
stamping out a butt,
and smoke bloomed around Robert’s thick forearm
like traces through their mutual ghost.
Robert felt like the mascot
of a forgotten, trampled city.
He said this in a letter to Daniel,
which Daniel unfolded and read in his garden,
watching the Macon azaleas breathe,
a blue-breasted Kingfisher in a branch.
Daniel daydreamed of the King of America.
He hoped he had a warm place,
maybe a jacket or two,
maybe pancakes and marmalade.
Something’s we are better off not knowing.

Harold daydreamed of an empty America.
One with lilac fields and candycane branches
bricks swathed in petals
walking through a slanted desert
he imagined the peace
of the inviting quiet of a prairie.
Horses and foxes
Elephants and wolves
warm moons on envelope dreams
riding handbuilt bicycles with Daniel,
meeting in strange places,
living squadrons among caverns and stolls.
The rain a gleaned mightless drip.
Harold knows he can slow down without this,
that he honestly needs to,
too much gets lost in the noise,
and you forget what you were trying to do
so he wants trees and cliffside’s
and the voices of children
near that same ocean shore
with Lloyd
throwing a tennis ball again,
skidding gentle and rapturous
like a smooth stone on water
these splashed notes
set to a harmony
with the emotions water wrung
a heavy sweater dripping out on the clothesline.
Once the clouds dissipate,
the cloth and the shroud will shrink
the way America will.
The waves pulling back
the valves closing
the shutters and the dust swift
among the footprints
and the song of overactive eyelids.
Harold and Robert sat on rocks in Central Park.
Thinking and talking about the way things were not,
what change and growth did not bring,
no settled peace or contentment,
just another title and job.
Ten feet away a photograph was taken
of a couple standing beside a still lake.
Robert couldn’t think of the last time he was photographed.
Robert wrenched change from his key pocket
and threw three smooth small coins
against the still water.
And then huffed breath coughing phlegm and old smoke
dancing in the quiet stream,
he hacked at his lungs until it sprouted
three thousand miles away
at the railroad overpass,
where his muddy boots and her bra lay underneath,
he heard two lovers laughter.
He did not hear his voice.
Robert stayed quiet
the way survivors do
when they think about what was lost.

These two marble sons of America
making sacrifices and tolling sweat
riding trains and paying bills
drumming through duty
waiting for dignity to arrive,
losing themselves in cards and bourbon,
syntax slippers on a gallows deck
They yawn and they don’t sleep.
Cassandra draws their portraits,
without looking at the paper,
it comes out looking like cartoon captains
born on a cereal box.
And after looking at that,
and feeling a bullish knot in his stomach
Harold drunkenly climbs into his room
and removes Daniel’s letter from a box.
And Harold reads a section aloud
because he thought that it was needed

“Harold, you slow dulcimer,
pick up your borrowed name
and cold shoulders,
say what you are,
shake the drowsy feeling from your hearts,
the cold lovers of yesterday cannot hurt you.
Slack your pace, hear your rhythm,
be one with your spirit,
not your mind.
The beautiful blonde at this cafe you are looking at
will not complete your life,
though you will probably complete hers.
Why do you work so hard for someone else?
Why do you wait for them to raise their standards?
Why do you invite this pain?
Why do you strive for completion?
Why do you try to finish your life,
round it off,
before it even started?
How can you be so sure?
Harold,
get away from what you have known.
Stop loving others
and love the world first.
Do not ask yourself
if the intimacy they have shared,
that America has shared with you,
is the same intimacy,
they get from a cold cauldron on an empty night.
Follow and ask the pollute stars
for your name in a constellation.
Skip rocks as a heartbeat moves
across migrant shores,
the lapsed batty heart of America
is not lost to you,
bend your eyebrows through a thicket
tuck your good lover into a warm bed,
kiss their forehead,
carve your false thoughts into a cliffside
to announce and forget them,
get out of Eugene,
go anywhere,
stop tugging around these bricks by your ankles,
you are only strong right now,
because you are young,
and your momentum
and heavy shoulders will not keep you young.
Hold your doubt’s in a vial against the desert sun
so it will crack like it was meant to.
The waters in the center of the Pacific ocean
are brackish poison.
But we live against the shore.
With the near-silent echoes
of each others bodies.
There is nothing more than this.
There’s a balance beyond yourself to master,
after you master the balance of yourself.
Remember when Laura told you nobody cares about your feelings?
And we talked
and I told you to announce it to the soil
either as a truth or a lie,
and to keep it that way?
I gave you the seeds
to plant in my garden.
I watched your earnest loving heart,
working in the name of America
dig a flower bed with your bare hands
and kiss the back of your hand
and smooth the soil over.
Harold,
those flowers grow.”

Spooky River

Tight-lipped tiger named Antigone
got a letter from Daniel,
not an email, a letter
typed out on his red typewriter
(he noted the color at one point),
among beaded sweat of glass,
paper marked with ash
and smears from his damaged ribbon.
It began
“If I were perfect,
I would not be myself.”
He continued, later
“and to my knowledge,
if I were not myself,
I would be broken.”
She thought of him
as a clean messy monster,
Daniel, riding his bicycle shirtless,
a wad of chaw in his lip,
unmarked and careless,
riding through red lights
riding green angels through empty turnstiles
stopping his routine only for liquor
(he was always drinking beer)
or complaining about conceited actors & his boss,
the smell of armpits,
the politics of the 200 he worked with,
lost loves like Antigone, that aren’t lost
nothing is truly lost,
this would be news to Daniel,
that things are only misplaced,
hearts wander
stones burn
songs yield
mites duck
sleeping mice need no lullabies,
not in the dark quiet corners of the infirmary
where his mother worked.
A little breath,
a little loss.
He knew that friends, birds, time
anger, envy, doubt,
guilt, bad paintings
they all fall away.
Jealousy and regret though,
“they’re like tattoos.”
Antigone continued the letter.
“There are two kinds of people in this world.
The ones who thrive on attention and acceptance,
cannot function unless they’re confirmed by others
that what they are doing is “right”,
easily flattered, seduced and convinced.
These people excuse all sorts of shitty behavior,
they see these flaws as manageable, fixable
like navigating some spooky river on a raft
they see these same flaws within themselves
and sadly, wait for another to fix them.
Money, careers, these are their symbols
of success. All words have one meaning to them.
The ocean is one drop of water.
Hurting can only be hurtful.
Platitudes and truisms help them.
Their lives are actually charts and graphs.
They do not know the world of the other kind.
Those who have choked on water.
Felt desert salt in their eyes.
Have thrown up in blood in bed.
Have signed time away
as a contract with a stranger.
Small gloves in a smaller heart,
four AM phone calls,
stone sober, to tell only “I love you”,
They swallow cherry stems.
They have dreams about the bottom of the ocean.
Life is not a ritual.
It is not defined.
They read phone-books and dictionaries,
The Encyclopedia of Death.
It is a life being drawn,
It is not drawn.
They don’t bring blankets and wine
to the park with their husbands.
They swim in distant sounds.

In closing, Antigone,
avoid both of these types at all costs.
Because there aren’t just two types.
That was just a dumb conceit.
signed,
with love,
Daniel.”

The tight-lipped Tiger folds the letter.
She puts it back in the enveloped.
She puts that envelope in another envelope.
Smiles, and writes the home address of Cassandra
from her black contact book.

Taking A Dead Horse to Tea

ashes floating in my teeth like flotsam
aware and lingering like stale bread
without the gathered mold
sore and unalert
confused and crashing
avoiding particular thoughts
like a bill
or a broken relationship.
the machine of clear energy
and broken shotglasses
and mistake tattoos
and mistake watch purchases.
beautiful women dating twat dudes in beards
or horn-rimmed glasses.
trying too hard,
the both of them.
then, i remember that the word “beautiful”
doesn’t really mean anything.
like the word “magic”
or the way people use “sorry”
or “love”.
generic functions
to stumble through social equations,
the paint-by-number images
that monks tried to paint over
with portraits of saints and angels
lambs and dogs
choirs and trumpets
babies look at women.
it’s not that i don’t want to listen
through all nine voicemails
i just don’t want to listen to the second one.
i’m sitting at the end of the earth in this cafe
far-flung from distance
or of oil-paintings of pentagrams
light shattering the focus
wrenches burrowing into my head,
halo figurines and dropped patterns
going through your house,
through your drawers
rifling through your underwear
spooled and unspooled on this identical reel
a waitress comes up and asks me if i need anything.
she’s beautiful
there’s no other way to say it.
my headphones are in, and i remove them
to politely speak,
but i see her look at me twice
in two different ways.
and i forgot what i was to say
and i forgot that this place
doesn’t have table service,
murmuring, a frank murmur on my breath
sliding thoughts like the way a coarse rabbit
tails through the thunder,
the words go missing again.
i can feel the world around me reeling,
as i try to remain silent and still;
and the only words available are
“i love you, i’m sorry.”

Nine Recipes For Wedding Dresses

1.
one tablespoon of extracted whey protein
ambivalence
turpentine
ratty yoga mats
cellophane from a pack of Marb Lights
an unhealthy portion of insecurity
3 oz of apple cider vinegar

blend
leave in the sun for three days

2.
three ivory tusks
12 most recent bank account statements
hydrogen peroxide
rose wine
six-sleep in blues hidden in a key pocket
Louis Vuitton dreams
decade-old lint from a trumpet case

soak in chardonnay
freeze, chip away, weave

3.
principles
an empty pageant
unheard squabbles
1 cup of salted almonds
a plastic frame for a J.D. diploma
winter trembles
a cautioned distance
corduroys
unheard squabbles
winter notes folded into fours from a Wisconsin winter

baste

4.
protracted allergies to penicillin and introspection
yearbook scoping in a snowy parking lot with a friend
thirteen drawn-out dawdled days on the ocean
receipts and ripped open envelopes from the cab
injured ego cast into tiger claw
a glass eye
fourteen-hundred-dollar weekly paychecks
swollen heart lifted downstream
seared tuna
wasabi peas

boil
leave at room temp until curdled smell dominates room

5.
a 1/2 cup of bay leaves
shifting crossed legs at the promotion
a nail file
books stacked to make a bed frame
three stars peeled from a childhood ceiling
a sly smile cast from the blonde whose bronze body moonlit
an old coat
the sound of rain in our meadow
or the sound of just after

ferment

6.
the last thoughts before bed that disappear
sulfur
jukebox sleeves
matchbook covers
2 teaspoons
disjointed pallored flakes from august shedding
the rumble and the light from the train
diagrams to save dying house plants
three used condoms
bookmarked page for a vacation package to Morocco
an anchored kiss
a joint lease to a condominium

tumble dry low, hang half-wet

7.
a misdiagnosis of a bruised tailbone
an 89′ Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card
a stomach for four years of bad decisions
a Carhartt with shorter sleeves
a milk carton photo with passing resemblance
the rusted straight razor
the unused electric one, father’s last gift
green grapes grown a the undertakers trellis
shaking shoulders
fates mercy on a carrot string

walk fifteen blocks, leave in a friends car overnight

8.
photos from a trip overseas with a sibling
tongue from a first love
three mint juleps and a hot toddy
underhanded looks from a stranger in the underpass
new promises as constant and forgotten as sunsets
2 cups of oats
3 quarts of sugar
a squeal and a pitch
a scrapbook ending at 19
socks with sandal imprints
a note written on a napkin from last night
hard to figure out:
like a snake making eye contact in tall grass
dusty glasses bought at a drug store counter

bake for 55 minutes at 410 degrees, let sit for 15 minutes

9.
torn first page from a middle-age manifesto, never read
platform shoes
a handful of dried oregano
a pinch of expectation from mother,
directed the feet onto the ladder
a gift certificate to a salon
three goldfish
the boyfriend that always approaches the car on the left side
held thoughts the way you trap your breath underwater
heaving sweaty breath on Sunday nights at 8:45,
right before bed time.
fear mistook for contemplation
contemplation mistook for fear
phantom sounds from other days
a distant house that will always be home
roof beams raised high by paid strangers
the promise of a raise
the promise of cool, sweatless nights,
that amble on through commercials,
the promise of a floor
a missing ceiling

ferment for 3.5 years, check on it

Something to Youth

A dream drive down Sunset,
on one of the last days of our old summers.
Nothing ever looked black to me then.
Things looked a progressively darker shade of green.
The way flashlights showed only white faces,
the pale skin exposed bright like a Polaroid
with the path of clear raindrops in the green among us,
the world revealing another new card trick,
or pointing out a sick shadow
on the outskirts of our bodies.
This is what I remember.

Daniel’s brother packed up his stuff
when we were seventeen,
and he took his dog
and he left and he didn’t say goodbye.
So, the house was empty except for Daniel.
And since Daniel
hadn’t changed the way his parents had left the house –

it had became no ones.
It was a house where we were more comfortable standing outside.
Hoods drawn, standing in wagon circles,
leaning against trees, ducking under awnings.
Wafts of smoke drifting around like the dumb jokes and sickle cells.
It’s because those days were defined
by either the presence of summer or rain.
I remember getting out of cars and walking inside,
better then the drives there or what we did inside.
I remember standing outside and smoking,
the gestation,
the talking about nothing,
I remember these moments
because there was ample space in my head.
I never remember the rush from the sirens,
but I remember the first lights on my eyes.
I never remember the exact words, or even two of them
but I always remember answering the phone.
I never remember the world
when the adrenaline is really pumping in this engine.
I lose myself into myself.
I remember the time in between.
The space with room.
When we had time to breathe.

Zoe led me away from a party near the highway,
where you could hear the passing cars as loud as the voices.
We walked down a gravel hill, kicking it in the dark,
dumb and mute like nervous children.
And she pointed to a barn.
We found ourselves at the top
nestled beside each other,
our limbs cross-sectioned to the beams beside the ceiling,
looking through a perch window at the pale moon
matching our skin.
We hardly said anything.
That summer, I remember dragging my tongue across skin
like I was licking Epsom salt from a counter.
I remember the bell behind the basketball court at Bill’s house
that rang when the sun settled behind the thick treeline,
announcing the time to no one.
Home wasn’t somewhere I knew how to go alone.
So, I remember sleeping in master bedrooms at strangers houses
and laughing at something I didn’t understand.
I remember knowing that some things that didn’t matter,
but I wish I understood them before I knew that.
I remember sleeping on beaches, in backyards,
crumpled into our old cars,
pulled into the loop of Daniel
of stubs, shrugs and what-did-we-say’s.
Too separated together to understand our own patterns.
So many moments, were the ones I chose to forget
or that I buried somewhere like a dog would with a bone
A gift to myself I’ll probably never recover
because I was a dog then,
loyal, hungry and eager to please.

Another long drive down Tolo, or Wyatt,
and I remember the sun, and the real estate signs,
days we would break bread and feed them to pigeons
and Matthew would call the birds retards
and we’d all laugh
and play catch in the ball fields
that we played in as children
and the dogs wandered along the fence line
like prison guards while we sipped beer
and our days were like eternal transfers
to beaches, parks and secret spots
undeveloped neighborhoods, abandoned houses
and long driveways.
A shack near the shore
that we joked was a snipers nest,
and the cold drinks passing empty
like the cold waves of the sound
because we never did more then jump in and then climb right back out.
The middle days of summer.
The lump in my throat.
Slivers or flashcards of loving quiet moments
that felt innocent then because they felt like nothing,
but time brought edges,
these pop-eye’d brush and tumbles,
the places I can’t even look at anymore
all this among the deep ease
I know only with forest, water and trees.
I’m ready to plunge forward
like the way we sank our hands
into the wet clay of open ground in April,
my sister and I climbing the endless hill behind our house
when every house still seemed endless, still seemed safe;
this world of white wire, brown wood and blue water
that conjured home.
But that place is an empty train yard.
That place isn’t there anymore.
It’s been scraped, flipped, sold and stacked,
like ghosts building a house of cards,
fragile in it’s new state.
Something left to it’s own room.

It’s a part of the same dream I’ve been having.
Where water rises when asked
and tires go flat and crawl into the car.
I am stuck under bridges.
Trapped in broken elevators.
Must is a smell and a feeling.
And this, paired with the sense that none of it was real,
is what compels me to leave.
That it is all just as temporal as a wasps nest.

One summer, Daniel’s brother came home.
And without a word he went to work.
He took all of his parents furniture and sold it.
He stripped the carpets and laid down paneled wood.
He took down the chandelier, a family heirloom
and gave it to the neighbor.
On a Thursday, he cut the thenar space in his right hand
with his Dad’s rusted old dry-wall saw
cutting slats for the master bedroom.
I drove him to the hospital,
and we sat in the waiting room
and he clutched his wrapped hand,
the old bath towel going brown from the red,
sitting together, saying nothing, waiting
and then the nurse called him back.

I’m drawn into what my life used to mean
and what I didn’t do with it.
The way Daniel didn’t change a thing in his parent’s house
as if there were something important that had been arranged,
and we hadn’t caught onto it.
That there was something that he could define
and then shutter away; that he could take care of it.
Like there was a newfound weight
to slip from the loop.