Written 2016, March 16
The thought of you is frozen
like a favored word you can’t pronounce
or a promise you can’t keep
Garden chairs lying broken outside. The air looks colder
than their time-stopped metal curves. Grey,
like the sky
———-I hear them, always. I don’t know what they’re saying. I don’t know how to answer.
The crux of their backs crowns the horizon like concrete bent to mold
around crooked skin
Don’t stop now
We’ve barely started
—-tactile sound and manmade
wind hissing through grass
A girl, green dress
beneath dark sweater. Goes from one
place to the next like it doesn’t matter
She hasn’t learned to recognize boundaries yet
Can’t feel a damn word you’re writing, but you run your hands
over the page like braille. It’s getting dark. Stay a little longer,
Her gloves are yellow.
Car made to cut through sand. In this weather? You hear your mother curse.
You miss the sand. You do.
———-I can almost touch it. I can almost feel it breathe.
Close your eyes. The dark reminds you of quiet.
Black shoes on freezing grass, just before the dawn, and you sit
And the sun rests just shy on the highest
hill, the steady
arch of the road reminding you
It tastes like sky
But it’s not home
Air staining windowglass like a pulled exhale in reverse. You’re done now. And you know it. Lying bare and spent on the tiled floor, you lay your hands back and imagine it tipping, tipping forward, spilling you over and down its edge like rain over ice, rock, steel. You run your fingers down its surface, imagine tracing a line through the dust that has collected there; ash, streaking earth and skin and hands, sifting over you like snow.
You were done aeons ago.
Paper cuts from grass when you were eight years old. Press thumb to blade now, try to picture the blood rising from your broiling veins, rising, and then falling, falling, from skin to stone, splaying itself across the soil with dirt-sweet release, fertile, growing into something new, an array of color, streaked with time and possibility, right before your eyes—
It doesn’t work that way, she said.
The heavens tasted like hail
The oceans like corrugated summer
—————————like you used to
cold, tile ———-celadon sky