The binding is too tight and the blood keeps recirculating, the same stream heavy with sediments, drifting sentiments, you can’t shake this, you can’t alter DNA, you can’t get all dressed up in black and spend money you don’t have on liquor you don’t want to drink just to maybe dream
Somewhere between sedation and the soul I’ll find you and they won’t be here and none of this will have happened and I won’t bleed and you won’t need an explanation
Maybe I’ll get there tonight and this next hit will be enough to transcend reality
I meant to do it
I meant everything
If I were you, I would have burned this house down, up in flames, down the rabbit hole, there you are, there you were, there you will be again
If I can fight if I can hold back total blackness to rest in Purgatory with you and not in this gray cold windowless room bound to handcuffs that are too tight.
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the stars
There they were – twinkling over the anti-Hilary Clinton billboard in central PA and I wondered if the hill people appreciated them if teenagers were fucking under them and what was it about my city that shielded the cosmos: smog or cynicism?
Or if they really weren’t there and the stars only choose to hover the starry-eyed and the starlight was a privilege extended to those who believe in other worlds, over worlds, above worlds, looking down on this world, this catastrophe.
No one notices because no one notices anything outside of their mirrors endangering the macros while they trudge through the trash heap of self delusion
I spent the summer in the swamps
I know the recycling and the prayers aren’t enough to offset the damage I’ve done but I’m sorry
Do you know I’m sorry?
I know I’m sorry I know self pity is sorry when planes are more than birds and bombs are more than rain
But I still can’t stop thinking about me and you
I felt this heaviness in my heart when I stood up, heat in my eyes, clouds in my head, fragmented memory, pieces of reality, I choose to live like this, I do it every time, I’m sick, I’m delusional, I’m lost and I’m here, I made it back somehow, why would the universe favor me?
And I would ask forgiveness, but that’s all I ever ask, and I wonder if you’re sick too or you just ignore this, compartmentalize this, file it into my folder
It was a blood bath, it hasn’t gotten easier since, I remember the look on his face, what I said, but not what I did, every evil word burns my lips and the whiskey bites the crevices and punishes me with pennance pain
I remember the way the glass sprayed
The way your reflection looked in my hands and my eyes got heavy and my ears felt stuffed and someone was saying
My name, my name, my name
He’s watching, she’s watching, they’re all watching you
Like you can change it, like you have a chance, like it’s your fault, your lack of empathy, your inaction caused this reaction of opposing lands sliding into each other, drifting, rifting, it’s your fault, this tectonic madness, this titan clash
You did this
Passive passings of heads of state, bobbling, turning powdered cheek to the rest of our reality,
The cycle of poverty, the recycle of recession, regression to monarchical rule and feudal castes, you unleashed this wrath, you didn’t fight right, so preoccupied by non-issues, corrected politics, you missed when Hydra’s head split and pitted against each other in one final duel
This is the life you chose.
I felt myself tossed. You can grieve but you’re not allowed to be sad or surprised. You can’t ask why. We all know why.
Like an unspeakable cancer like a disease you can’t reduce to an acronym comfortable enough to say out loud. He chose this. She started this. It’s their fault and it’s your fault too.
Because you chose to ignore that it’s your children it’s their friends shrouded in the shadow of denial like you didn’t hatch the demons, like we had a chance to fight and we succumbed to some society you know nothing about and it hasn’t been there all along in your afternoon Chardonnay, in the valium in the medicine cabinet from that accident you had before I was born
It’s his fault you can’t feel bad feel sad FEEL SOMETHING
You did this
We all did this
They want reassurance that they know who the bad people are … and it’s not them.
She was a stunner, but that was a long time ago
In the right light she’ll still glow
The scenes she’s seen weigh heavy on her eyelids, the things that happened to her like the marble sins in Sunday school – we filled our soul jars until we dumped them out in confession
Can you truly cleanse the soul?
Or does it depreciate in value with every mile, every dine, every no fault fender bender, adding up, subtracting holiness, mudding virtue, until you’re so scathed and scratched the wounds don’t bleed they just crust over and widen like quarries like caverns, like the dark places children wander off to and never come back and leave no body only loose footprints in the sand and you wonder
Could you have stopped them?
Or was their sacrifice necessary for the doomed fat of this savage race, cutting corners, false bonds, severed ties, old friends, dead relatives, conniving beneficiaries, greedy men who believe in nothing and subhuman sociopaths roaming free through brutal constructed reality
I’m always nice to the drifters, they didn’t choose to drift here.
I’ve been gone for a long time
And I’m not sure that I’m coming back
But I hope you know I love you
This will have to count as me saying it
You can’t count on me
You can’t trust me
I will admit it but I will not change
I have tried
But there’s something organically, chemically, biologically WRONG with me
Threaded through my DNA that makes it easy, makes it compulsive for me to look away, to ignore, to judge from this higher ground
I won’t see you around
But you’ll know I was there
You’ll see the footprints, feel the heartbeats, breathe my ghost, exhale my memory, toast to something else, around the same table, same plastic cups, new fake celebration,
And I’ll never show my face
But never go away.
You called it the train
Like it’s this majestic stagecoach with velveteen covered seats and a conductor in a cap not an underfunded mass transit shuttling sweaty masses with every half mile lurch
And I wonder why I see everything for what it is and not what it could be and if this dark cloud will ever just rain and release what’s been weighing me down all these years and cleanse the oil that’s piled on my face and rinse the dust tangled in my hair
And when the sky’s cleared the sun will brighten up and the dirt will be earth and the noise will be music and the people will still be terrible but it won’t bother me
And I’ll stop scowling and start smiling and maybe we’ll fall in love again
Until the clouds roll in and the train’s off schedule and I’m walking alone down city grates and the bum asks for a dollar and I say… “It’s hard out there for everybody.”
There’s nothing more American than a 2nd chance
And yoga is for white people who stop going to church
And we just spend, spend, spend on empty things to make up for the experiences we’ll never have
I made lots of money when everyone else was at Bonnaroo
But I’ve never been to Paris
And I don’t have a passport
And I wonder if being lower class is a lifetime condition and I’ve got no chance of marrying up no matter how good I look or how many yoga classes I sweat through
It’s not lower class, my dad says, it’s called the working poor
And he spends $190,000 a year
And education is restricted to the offspring of the educated and maybe a bachelor’s degree is as far as I can offset the scale of class and wealth and greener grass and leased Audis
Did I miss my chance?
Do I have to wait for the first round of divorces?
Is it possible to do it on my own if I’ve never known anything else?
I always get lost when I leave your house and I picture getting in a car accident and I wonder if you picture me without my patina
If you know the bags under my eyes aren’t Chanel
And if 5 years hadn’t passed would I still be bronze? And fit? And sad but in short spurts so that I could still live my life
Sleep at night
Not like this, burned through to the bone and it’s so hot and it never seems to cool down and this city smells like hot garbage and seawater and everyon’es so hot but tempers are subdued and there’s no social justice at 96 degrees
We hover oscillating fans and drip through the floor
Swallowed in summer land, adventure camp and maybe it’s not so final and maybe no one’s keeping track of time and there’s a chance you’ll want to stare and me forever and I’ll oxidize into a work of art, your favorite display but this time I want the right way
Drive carefully, it’s your civic duty