free form

I certainly do enjoy

Walking into a classroom with

Sex hair, and

A red nose, and red-rimmed

Eyes, because

I’ve been crying, I’ve been

Crazy, it’s been

Quite the day and you

Wouldn’t believe and,

Don’t need to know:

I am

Working through shit

And I’m

Waltzing past

your wandering eyes

Because

Power

Is sexy, and freedom

In crying

Is sexy, is healthy,

More important,

I can have both

I can cope

However

I want.

Advertisements

It took almost a year to realize-

Experience dictates that love is:

something that you must save.

/over/

Something you have in abundance,

ready to be given away.

A gift

/over/

Admission, an

Acceptance

/over/

Explosion.

Temptation, over

A tide, a

beginning

/A/

beginning;

Love

reveals how beautiful a love is:

which can make different people

be loved

in the same way that they are in love.

Shudder

When he died, it was on a corner near a dozing shopping mall, half-shelled and hulled of its meat, its people, filled only with caged storefronts and empty vats for melting cheese. The lights on the street-side had been dim for years but in morning they were nearly transparent. That morning he stood, and waited, with the lights to his back. He wanted someone to get there.

The whole thing had happened so early that it seemed it was the earliest it ever would be. I mean, it seemed like that hour had been specifically set aside for his death. Nothing else breathed or moved in the world at that time. There was only Andrew, and the car.

I don’t waste spare moments contemplating the mode, the method, operandi, operatory. It is easy enough to assume. Yes, there was alcohol. Yes, there was sidewalk. Yes there was blood on sidewalk yes there was.

That’s not what’s important here.

Okay?

I know what important things are.

For instance, I loved him- you could call that “important.” I loved him in a way that made my life different; and changed the shape of my body. I could feel the cavernous hole in my chest getting bigger to take in more love for him. I could feel it getting bigger and bigger, sucking my blood vessels into a whirlpool with a big wet smacking POP.

My love wasn’t a bad thing, though. It just took a lot,

and was very large.

Alright?

 

Andrew was known for his stories.

He was a writer in a way I never could be, always twisting and yarning and crafting his words. He loved to say we were different people, like the two scientists who were responsible for learning how to grow lima beans in space. Don’t ask me how he came up with this stuff.

One moment, it would just occur to him.

“Casp!” he’d say, “We’re inventors. We invented the first bendable stovepipe and now we’re millionaires!”

I’d laugh, and kiss his forehead, and speak with a fancy rich accent for the rest of the day. Our imaginations were the best part of us; they took us through a lot. I liked that he could always be in love with me, no matter what we did or where we lived or which millionaires we were that day. There was something comforting about pretending to be someone else. Maybe it was like falling in love with him all over again, each time.

Our sex became stories, too. The dueling warlords who fought with their cocks, the professor and the schoolboy. There were times when I missed the two of us, but it was almost easier that way. Our stories were exciting. Our lives could sometimes be plain.

What struck me through all this, though, was the time Andrew talked about his grave.

“I’m not shuddering, Casper, I’m shivering. I just get that sometimes.”

“You don’t have to have a seizure every time. You freak me out when you do that.”

“You know how they say when you shiver, it’s someone walking on your grave?”

“I guess.”

Andrew’s eyes started to sparkle, his writerly hands on my shoulders, he said “I think I’m going to have a very popular grave.”

He meant that he was going to be famous, of course. He saw hordes of pilgrims winding up a mountain road, bringing well-loved copies of his books and leaving tokens by his headstone. He saw generations of readers and literature-lovers kneeling in the soft dirt of his burial mound until it was reduced to sand and then dust. He thought maybe his place of death would be a point of interest, someday. I loved the way he could think.

It didn’t turn out that way, obviously. He was cremated, so I guess you could say his grave was where he died: where the wooden roadside cross sat spiked into the grass for exactly 27 days before it broke apart or disappeared. It was that corner, where he waited for a friend, where a friend just up and killed him. It got built over.

The drowsy mall became a vacant lot and the vacant lot became condos, and when the condos went decrepit they put trees and a park there instead. The park was slowly invaded by biking paths that became road crossings and a new mall was built around them, this time with elevators like drive-through bank tubes and shiny stainless counters over which passed melted cheese. It’s a busy place, a popular place, that brings new money into the neighborhood. There is no grass to spike in American flags, wreaths, or photos.

I miss him all the time so I go there, anyway. I buy the soft pretzel with a lemonade and cross the street to sit on a bench. The people passing are reading trashy novels and probably only smoke out of rigid pipes; they traipse back and forth all day and into the early morning. They stream into the mall and out again, and in, and out.

I wish it didn’t turn out this way. I am reminded that it’s really hard to love someone.

Andrew’s grave, it turns out, is a crosswalk.

scientific method

Woman:

you have become the sum

of your experiences.

You have shifted your volume,

in one static shape

felt a solid inside you,

felt your grey matter change.

You are the sum of the pain:

which trickled like rivers

and emptied-

you have known love

that you couldn’t before

took it in while your chest

was expanding.

You lost your past

like the leaking of gas

made your old life just

the beginning:

but the life that you’ve made now

is richer, it’s fuller,

like plasma, it’s burning

and bubbling.

Woman:

I know you

have conquered these months

have bared

your teeth and your nipples-

your legs are

deciding, the muscles

colliding

in missteps, impacts, in ripples.

I ask you:

Remember

how the world used to be

when your eyes were newborn

and filmy-

I ask you

take courage

if the mud traps your feet,

you’ll keep moving, it’s all in

the timing.

Eighteen Hundred Dollars

I want to uproot this life

each radial finger, dichotomous

corn-hair from the husk.

I want to pry coldhard fingers

off of it

want to unravel the cross-stitch and run.

Want to feel the road stretching herringbone-

it is what you’d recommend.

I fish bronchi of stream-water

catacombs,

out from under this sand.

Aspen-grove arms of entrapment

constrict and anchor me still

I am strong enough to unclasp them

wisteria clinging,

un-clinging,

ripping away from both heels.

 

 

 

 

I feel

suffocated.

I want to     save

myself.