I don’t think you understand that you are not one or two or 42 dimensions of impossible but exponentially angled with every moment of being.
I flip, pixel by pixel, through the photo album I keep of your words, clutch your darkest whites and vibrant beiges and I’m not saying you’re special but you’re no less demented than I thought you were.
I can’t pretend to fathom the fingerprints you press onto the polished granite of normalcy, or why you send your shadows out tap dancing for you, but I’d follow every watercolor drip of your toes if they’d take me back to Summers where the only thought was breathing.
You may be glazed in glass and cloth and unshared skin, but that doesn’t stop termites from wandering the hallways of your veins, and it won’t reflect my firefly blinks as return to sender.
“No! It can’t be out of gas… no. That is not what is going have stopped us. No. I have faith. C’mon! One, two, three, start! One, two, three, start. Onetwothree… start! C’mon, you stupid car just fricking start already—”
“If it’s out of gas I don’t really think there’s anything we can do… ”
“Sh*t. No. No, it can’t be out of gas. No. How could we have not noticed that? I’m such a fricking idiot! Sh*t! Sh*tsh*tsh*t, it’s getting dark, what the hell are we supposed to do?”
“Look. It’s gonna be okay. You know? We’re still on a road, we can’t be that far away from a gas station…”
“Yeah, okay, I’m sure there’s gonna be a gas station just up the block. Oh wait! There are no blocks! We’re in a fricking forest! We’re all alone! Except for maybe, if we get lucky, we’ll meet a few bears and rapists to chat it up with!"
1. it takes bout fifteen minutes t'make it outta the cliches, though you gotta remember it's not always a straight line & sometimes it's days before you break that gravity & make it into space.
2. you couldn't write if you tried, and you have, your sentences tangling up and ensnaring you til you fall, zoomin in on commas & caps instead of that bigger picture
3. you member when you wrote cause you wanted to & there was no other reason & you couldn't magine howta fail or howta fear & you could import your thoughts, pure & unmodified & organic & so local they neverappeared outsid'you, right. onto. the page.
4. it was easy t'write when you had someone t'praise you for it, namely yaself & a few you couldn't name, & it was hard when those someones found out your name & face. (you didn't mind havin your work judged as long as you didn't hear it, as long as no one knew who t'criticize for its 'xistence).
It had gotten to the point where she'd lock herself in the basement even before her parents got home. Whenever they caught sight of her they'd start the interrogations, firing question after question at her: "Honey, how was school?" "What did you get on the bio test?" "Did you study enough?" "Shouldn't you be studying right now?" "Well, what homework do you have?" "Did you score any points in the basketball game?" "When was the last time you practiced cello?" "Haven't you started volunteering yet?" "Haven't you started looking at colleges?"
When she covered her ears they'd rolled their eyes and laughed at her. "God forbid we take an interest in your life." "Honey, we're your parents, this is our job." "It must be hard to have people who love you so much." "Hormones."
And maybe that is what they thought, and maybe they were trying to help, but it sure seemed like her against the two of them, her against the entire world.
I know I was supposed to write a poem yesterday because I remember pushing myself into the cage that forms between the desk & the chair and arming myself against the page with a single ballpoint pen.
But instead of writing, I pulled a sun-ripened peach from the brown paper bag that my mother had sent me in the mail & I walked barefoot around my room, juice dripping down my wrist, the first taste of peach I had this year.
So I hope you'll forgive me when I tell you that all I have to read is this page, blank except for the stains of peach juice.
They pulsated. Like pale, gelatinous hearts (though of course, they had no hearts). Like dancers whose music had been swallowed by the solid tubes and cubes of suspended ocean. Like birds in slow motion.
We watched. Breathed alongside them, separated only by glass. It was dark but they glowed; lanterns, northern lights, miniature moons in a midnight sky.
She's still deciding about zoos, she told me when I showed her the tickets. The polar bear in the 80-degree heat nearly convinced her, but I couldn't think of a better way to illuminate the heartbreak of climate change. And now we're here and she's unsure again.