7 years ago today i was poolside with my father and i cried as my mother died. they say it gets easier with time but it doesn’t. no possessions, no namesakes. two kids with 400 miles of distance between them missing the touch and the voice of a mother, the deep purple of her toenails, her red hair an absence that can’t be filled or voided. i would like to believe that in the few graceful moments i have before making it out of bed in the morning, she’s doing the same. or that, if by any chance we meet somewhere in a future life, we might make up for lost time over a coffee and a cigarette, and she’ll tell me i still have lips too red for anyone else to love but her.
the last three nights i’ve dreamt of smashing my own face in.
in the last four years all that’s changed about me is the shade of dark under my eyes and the even-tempered cliff of my voice when i say things are fine.
once i’m out of the negative headspace i’ve been occupying for the better part of the last 6 months, maybe i’ll actually sit down and bind my own books and send them to city lights and become something real, something intended.
i regret your life for you so your back stays straight.
this is the first birthday I wish I were dead for.
when a body dies is it then the verb rotting?, the adj. hauntingly?, or in a slang universe — “grounded” — or in the industrial present indicative, a literal dirtbag, a fleshy encasing of diluted organ, flat tissue parallel with the entrance to heaven. my father wrote me, “the dog has died. we buried her on the path to a future tense,” “where no single thing can be erased, but built,” my brother said, and the dog, from underneath, beat the feet of all of us, because he smelled the can of tuna in my lunchbox.
reworking some things for Hobart and Tin House.
the older i get, the more questions i have. that’s what i’ve noticed. i have questions about how to sew and unsew the binding of a book so that i can have one solid copy of all of my thoughts, make addendums when needed. uncomplicate and complicate my life in the way a synagogue can move its walls to accommodate the growing masses when forgiveness is to be celebrated. i also want to know why my dill plant died. i did everything the woman at the market said. i don’t want to believe it was because the plant, somehow, represented my insides, keeled over in the sun, and just called it quits. i believe it, but i don’t want to, which i also have questions about, but i know not a single person who can offer an unbiased perspective about that kind of thing. my soul, or something like that. i don’t know anyone who knows anything worth mentioning about my soul.
Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning
of a certain end.
The other, the end of a