I sometimes feel like my heart is in
perpetuated free fall—not “perpetual”
because I think that this thumping, this
thundering in my chest was really
brought on by choice. and I think that
I’m a fool for letting this happen to
me, for constant ache within my chest
that reminds me you aren’t here; I
don’t want to be here if you aren’t here.
you’re supposed to drink to forget, so
I find myself drowning at the bottom
of my glass more and more as of late—
I’m just filling my pockets with stones and
plummeting down, down, down and away.
I am drinking and falling into the deep well of my glass, and the burn of this cheap tequila reminds me of the burn of your lips beneath my tongue. There were moments when I’d stare at you unhindered because your attention was captured elsewhere by someone far more captivating than I could ever dream of being, but these were moments when I’d be fine with taking the backseat, disregarded and secondary to whatever held your interest—I could watch you in your truest essence, no need for tenderness for fear of insult, no need for sweetness or niceties for fear of anger. I was never afraid that another would taste that burn, that they would experience that slow, slow burn that built up from the first taste and explode before settling down to a lingering sensation that remained in my mouth.
Now I stare at you like I stare at the smudged crystal at the bottom of this shot glass, with longing and sorrow, waiting for my heart to be filled up again, for my glass to be filled up again.
it drips from my mouth, flavored like mulled
wine, thick as honey as it slowly
pours down, down, down into my throat
and I am drowning, drowning, drowning
in it, and I am asphyxiating on you like a man
choking on water. I can taste you
on my tongue, sweet as blackberries
yet bitter as Adderall, but the flavor
electrifies, and then I can taste the alkali
energy you fill me with. I can smell the
storm you create within my chest, the
oncoming rain filling the air with the
humid scent of cleansing. I am falling,
falling, falling into this blissful purgatory,
and I wonder when it will bring me peace.
I am tired of being nothing more than these
bones digging into a mattress whose softness is
like the cold, hard stone beneath my knees when I try
to pray. There are nights when I wake up, and my body
screams at me like lambs during slaughter. There are nights
when I wake up, and the blood pooling beneath the
skin on my shoulders, on my ribs, on my abdomen,
on my hips, on my pelvis reminds me of lips
bruised black-blue with teeth.
But I am more than the number on the scale, more
than the days spent curled up in my bed when I
am too afraid to step out from beneath the covers
and see my reflection, more than the calories
I methodically count, more than the food I
ritualistically prepare, put in my
mouth, and chew, more than suffering that creeps through my
skin, through my digestive tract, through my chest, through my
esophagus—I am more than my bones digging
into my mattress.
There are nights, days when I cannot sleep and I will not sleep,
and I spend these hours sitting at a desk facing east through the
window, where I wait and watch the sky as it falls into indigo
darkness and slips deep into indistinguishable, liquid black, as it
rises into pink-orange dust and stretches its gold fingers across the
sky. And I step outside, and I walk and bike and see and hear and
breathe and see and look at that sliver of color peeking out, and I
realize that everyone walks and bikes and sees and hears and breathes
and sees and looks at least once at that sliver of color peeking out,
that only during dawn and dusk can we all look at, because the light
isn’t so piercing for the cones, for the receptors in our eyes, that all
of us cannot look at the sun as it bursts out in the early afternoon
with its cascades of yellow just like the color of the paint Van Gogh ate
because he believed that this yellow would make finally him happy.
i never found the sermon in the suicide
but these are the things that have held my attention:
a name as original fiction
a borrowed idea twice over, a second sin.
this, the face i had before the world was made,
eyes blueblack as a bruise & already knowing
that this must be the way the world hurts god.
you, building shadowboxes in your bedroom,
pot after pot of semi-hot coffee & turning
the corners down.
now, apotheosis by appointment. now,
we know too much. we read highway signs
as semiotic warnings,
we die stillborn to avoid abjection.
i never found the lesson in the murder of five
& now dietrich is dead too but still we keep
the key light
8 feet up and a little to the right.