Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Waste Your Time With Me

"Could we talk about something else? How is the cat?"

"The cat is doing so much better. His eyeball is looking beautiful."

"Good. Good."

"Baby, stop crying. Everything is going to be fine. It's normal to get sad around your birthday."

"I know everything will be fine. And no it's not."

"You're father would like in on this."

"Well, I don't want to talk to Dad right now. I called to talk to you."

"Okay, okay. Well what do you want to talk about?"

"Nothing anymore."

"How are your classes?"

"I just can't talk about anything right now, okay?"

"Okay. Have you been getting enough rest?"

"Yeah. Jesus Christ."

"Don't say that."

"We don't believe in him anyway."

"It shouldn't matter."

"Should I say G-ddamnit instead?"

"No. Christ, baby. Now stop it."

"I don't believe in him either."

"Oh really? Why do you still not write it out?"

"I figure not believing in him is offensive enough."

"You're so young. You'll believe. You'll believe when you see a beautiful daughter of yours turn eighteen someday. You'll believe when you can close your eyes and see her when she was only six pounds."

"Well I'm sure not that anymore."

"Honey, honey, honey."


"Well, I can't make you love yourself."

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Oh, I'm so powerless."

"You're pissing me off. You're not making sense."

"I just love you so much."

"I love you too. And I'm not eighteen yet."

"I know. Trust me I know. I don't even want to think about it. Let's talk about something else."

"Yeah. How's the cat?"

"Well, like I said, his eye is going to be beautiful. It's starting to look green again."

The Right Questions

They very next time I sit with you for two hours and some minutes at the top of a stairwell, crying alcoholic tears as you talk about your mother, you will find yourself kissed.  
Like the skin of a lady by the summertime sun.
Or my brother by my mother after every basketball game.  
Yes, the very next time, I will put my hand on your shoulder and kiss you with my eyes closed.
And you
will kiss
me back.

Because that's how I want it.

I was talking to my Dad once

"Do you ever wish you could see?"

"Yeah. I wish a lot of things."

"Sometimes I get so fixed on what it would be like to wake up and be able to see."


"The doctor says one day I'll be blind like you."

"I'm not blind, baby girl."

"But you almost are."


"What do you wish?"

"I wish I had some of my youth back."

"Like what parts? You seem pretty youthful to me."

"I don't know. I'm getting too close to a hundred."

"Me too."

He kissed me on the forehead and his lips were cold from the ice cream.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Am I doing this right?

She grew up snail slow in a too fast town. She wanted to watch leaves fall and inhale exhaust from the cars that drove by. She wanted the time to fixate, to burn holes in things just by staring at them.
And there were these things she'd get about her face. These feelings. These
she'd get, about her face. These allergic reactions to her adolescence, these blinding red assertions of insecurity. The bane of her physical existence, the reason boys wouldn't even look at her when she wore that purple push-up and tried extra hard to purse her chap-sticked lips.
And he grew up too fast in a super slow town. He wanted to write books and build rockets that would launch the pages into outerspace. Whatever was out there could read them, too.
But he'd get these things about his shoulders. These

about his shoulders that went straight down instead of out like he thought they should have. The things he stared at most in the mirror after a shower, the reason he would never take his shirt off in public, or go shopping with his mom who offered to sew padding into all of his shirts.
And together, they would silently agree not to the notice the doubt in each other's eyes. They'd hold hands and buy each other presents when it wasn't any kind of holiday. They'd kiss and wonder if they were doing it right. They'd kiss and wonder why anyone would ever want to touch those cheeks with the scabs and scars, or those bony shoulders that no real man would have.

"Do you love me?" he asked.
"No," she said.
"I don't believe you."
"Do you love me?" she said.
"Yes," he answered.
"Well I'm dying. I've got cancer."
"No you don't."
"Would you love me if I did?"
"No. I don't think so."
"What a terrible thing to say."
"Okay, it's not that I necessarily wouldn't. I just can't imagine a time and place when I'd have to decide."
"I don't love you," she whispered.
"I don't believe you."

They'd lie in each other's arms and talk as though there were an audience.
But there were these things she'd get about his shoulders. These feelings about how they went straight down instead of out like she knew they should. He would never take off his shirt unless the lights were off and all of his clothes had pads stitched into the shoulders.
And there were these things he'd get about her face. He'd get feelings about the bumps that only seemed to multiply. All the make-up she wore and that ever present purple bra that somehow made her boobs look bigger, and closer together than they actually were, or something.
But when together, they would silently agree to live like question marks, sympathizing with each other's incomprehensible need for reassurance.

You're Just Like Your Mother

"I always thought that if you had all the right thoughts and did all the right things you'd be okay."

"No, you've got to do more than that."

"Tell me."

"You've got to try as hard as you can to be like other people."

"It can't be that simple."

"It can. Because it is."

"Then why aren't you okay?"

"Man, how can I be like other people when I can't even look at them?"

"I think I know what you mean."

"You think you know?"


"You don't know."

"I do. People are hard to look at. Not like they're scary, but like their insides are so ugly."

"You can see their insides?"

"Can't you?"

"I guess. But that would make us ugly, too."

"No. That would make us aliens."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Like magic, or something

In his world transition lenses were the coolest thing
Smiling and laughing only when others did
Not knowing at what
But in the sunshine, the lenses got darker
Nails eaten down to nothing
Teeth only brushed when it's convenient
Clothes aren't dirty until he can smell them
Content to relent to the television remote
Friends are anyone who will talk to him
Without him talking to them first
School is a way to occupy time better spent than sitting alone
Transition lenses for a birthday surprise
Time better spent than sitting alone
And in the sunshine?
The lenses
got darker

Ready Set to Go for it.

"Miraculously, our friendship is perfection. I want nothing more from you than what you give me."


Johnny, tell me what it's like to die.

"How about I tell you something? I used to bleed and then rub it into my skin until I was red. Like an apple. I used to obsessively slice away in compulsive threes and watch the blood bead up and trickle down. Like fucking economics. I would touch it--taste it, even--just to see what was keeping me together. This precious liquid of life that kept it all in motion.
I was apple red with some kind of something. Where am I now? I would push as hard as my anger would allow and listen to the fabric of my brownberry skin rip like canvas. First I'd see the white, followed by styptic red.
Constantly expanding like a universe of worth, of uniqueness.
Are you scared now?
And then there was the night in my parent's bathroom when it happened all at once. No slow escape, but a rush instead. No rip, but an
A moan, a fall, a discovery, a memory, now. Then what goes on? All the wrong things in my head, in the room, in the whole wide world oozed onto the floor. I had to yell. I had to bear down with everything left inside of me. I had to collapse, and stare, and cry. I had to."

"Did that really happen?"

"I don't know."

Poem Counselors

"Everything is a poem
The tar:
Pregnant and swollen with liquid
It bursts and breaks
This crumbling black
The fragility of this all-knowing ground"

"You want honest?"

"As per usual."

"I hate it. You are trying way too hard, man."

"What do you mean? It's about potholes."


California Calling

"I miss your overwhelming ability to stimulate my mind."

A text. How appropriate.

"I miss your overwhelming ability to make me think I exist," she replied with three parts sarcasm and one part too afraid to wonder if she could be serious.

"Glad to hear it. Non-existence is an epidemic these days," he sent.

Then she began to think about it. "It" was whether or not she felt like she did in fact exist. Sometimes she was sure. Sometimes she was so sure she would chew it and swallow it down and regurgitate it looking like a rose. Her existence--neatly packaged and not only tangible, but soft to the touch and fragrant. Other times she second guessed. She third, fourth, and fifthguessed, thinking endlessly about how real she felt.
Thumbs poised over the keys, she pressed, "Are you going to call me tonight?" She bit her lip, begging to know why she was even participating in this twenty-first century microwave conversation.

Message recieved.

"You know it."

She knew what it would mean--the exchange that would come that night. He would to tell her stories about the stars she couldn't see anymore. Stories that would make her want to fall in love, or go to the movies, or just shut her eyes. He would talk about himself and make her listen to how human he was, and then he would say things like I'm proud of you and You deserve it and I always knew this would happen for you. Then he would ask her to touch herself while he listened from 3,000 miles away. And sometimes, even, she would. She would vacantly rub some soulless fingers on her down-below and she would breathe heavily and not know why. And he would breathe too, into t he other end of the distance, and she would know then that she was real.
She'd chew up his panting
and swallow his moans
and cough up the most perfect red rose. And it all would end.

"Damn, I'll talk to you later, alright?" he would whisper. And she'd say, "Yeah, okay." Then she'd lay awake touching petals to her face until she stumbled into sleep.

She waited, eager, for the phone to sing her a polyphonic song.