wipe that octopuss off your face. you’ve got a tongue like
a tentacle, and i never liked sushi. there’s one too many
‘sometimes’ in this conversation. i’d like to know exactly
when you’re going to sink your mandibles into me, what i’m
going to taste like. like nothing your mother ever made.
i’d like to stab you in the hand with a fork but all i’ve
got are these lacquered chopsticks. maybe i could get your
eye if you’d only hold still long enough. we could wrap it
in seaweed, call it a delicacy. see, flipper was actually
a girl and she committed suicide by refusing to surface,
and isn’t that like human beings and how i can’t always
(read: sometimes) bring myself to do the things i know are
good for me, like taking vitamins and loofahing my skin
every other day, like being sure to check all the mirrors
when i drive and going to church. like not sitting here
with you and eating this goddamn raw fish.
while you wear an apron (i imagine it to be frilly,
and pink, though you are not really effeminate, not
really) and make us vegan food i sit on the couch
with a beer and watch the football game. the remote
is wedged somewhere between the couch cushions
and i am too tired to get it. these long days at
the factory take their toll, and i wonder if you
are quietly becoming a desperate househusband,
thinking about putting razorblades in the apples
for halloween, thinking about how to get out of
having sex with me later this evening (though i
will probably be too tired anyway). while you
are sleeping i sneak over to the neighbor’s house
for a handjob and a hamburger. i smoke a furtive
cigarette under the awning and then spray myself
with that sandalwood hippie shit you gave me for
christmas (you called it a “commercial holiday”
but i insisted on exchanging anyway–i gave you
a box of chocolate with ‘moo’ written on it),
and go back into the house, upstairs, where your
thin body is covered with a blanket, and i sit
next to you and in that moment i want to just lay
my hand lightly in yours–but i don’t. i go back
downstairs and crack open a can, slouch in front
of the tv. and when the home team wins, it still
doesn’t feel like it.
sad girl (n.) see girl, sad.
girl, sad (n.) see sad girl.
the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog
(but was not quick enough)
i had a second grade teacher who could recite
the entire alphabet backwards
but stumbled when speaking it forward
a b c d what do you see
w x y z there’s nothing to be
in high school i loved spelling
love is evol
love is evol
love is evol
i guess i wasn’t a believer even then.
he packed peat moss into the spaces around my heart
spread the rest where we had buried the fox
peat moss (noun.)
peat, repeat (life.)
i don’t believe in karma.
endlessly dying (v.) see dying endlessly.
dying endlessly (v.) see endlessly dying.
we all do what we can.
so i ran away from home and joined the circus. i was part
of the Disappearing Girl act. the other girls i worked with
were all beautiful, with paper-thin skin and huge black circles
under their eyes, like skinny pandas that wore pink feathers
and skin-tight lycra suits in neutral colors like Homogenous
Crowd Beige and Television Static Gray. my job was to bring
them plates of food, steaming platters of roast beef and lobster,
cream sauces in pink and white, mountains of mashed potatoes
and tiramisu so big it would almost brush the top of the tent.
the act would be seeing which one could hold out the longest,
who could disappear first. i would parade cartons of french fries,
pausing just long enough to hold them under each girl’s nose,
and watch them sweat and blink rapidly, teetering right on
the brink of bingeing. pancakes slathered in syrup were next,
replete with bacon strips spelling out EAT ME. sometimes this
went on for days: the audience members knew to bring blankets.
then eventually the cue would come and the janitor would
waltz in, dressed like Ronald McDonald, and sweep up the piles
of bone and dust, and the people would file out, feeling
lighter than ever.
stir up the silt from my dreams. we wound through these waters
rich as the amazon, holy as the ganges, in search of the woman
who eats her own feet. serpentine currents of air whipping
blue and green to foam on your lips as you update your online
status: [ we just saw a jaguar and i don’t mean the car! ]
just as the calluses were beginning to form on my hands you
shouted to me that you think you left the refrigerator door
open. but it’s too late to turn back now, the milk will just
have to spoil, and i imagine the beaded condensation on
the bottle like the sweat on your brow. we hit a rock and
the compass slipped overboard but we never really needed
it anyway. there are so many things that we have but don’t
really need, like that insulated cupholder that you covet
and insisted on putting at the front of the vessel. while
you weren’t looking i threw your iphone into the river.
at the delta of my memory we will toss out the last vestige
of these electronic delusions and the birds will sing of
our search for infinity as we head out towards the sea.
i believe in iridology, i believe in haruscipy
i search the ancient texts for the secrets beneath
your tongue–then google it instead. these days
we practioners of dead arts are more practical,
and as heretics we bomb the south street seaport
in protest of this collage of skin, mosaic of bone
that threatens to reveal us as charlatans–there
is no rabbit in that hat. you point at me and call
me witch, the birthmark on my neck proof when i
don’t bleed, but i bleed in so many other ways,
i turn to blood in your hands that you scoop to
your mouth and why do we have to kill so many
goats, they didn’t do anything us, except maybe
eat the begonias. the pagan gods will blight your
genetically modified crop for this, and you’ll
be sorry you ever planted that monoculture.
everytime you sneeze someone will curse you.
the flickering televisions inside your irises
will never tell us the truth, but the potato
chips in your gut will herald a new age.
it can be the smallest of things: she shows no enthusiam
when you tell her about a song that moved you, or she still
hasn’t gotten around to reading your poem. she doesn’t ask
how you’ve been doing, or if she does, she doesn’t expect
you to really tell her the truth. it’s a kind of negligence
that will eventually kill you like rust in your veins. when
was the last time someone said hello to you and meant it.
we have so many ways to connect with one another and yet
our circuits are crossed, our wires frayed, or whatever
other convenient electronic metaphor there is as a substitute
for human empathy and compassion. the isolation created by
all these things meant to transcend loneliness is staggering
in its ability to warp us into posterboard people with no
real communication, no real depth, no real capacity for
happiness. take away the screen, take away the keyboard.
take away this opacity of thought, this disingenuity of
your pixilated face. and i’ll find your pulse and let you