in a dream I went to reno. you were there in glasses and a yellow shirt. you passed me in the elevator like a ghost. I whispered about you until you came back. you tackled me into the door and begged for no more sympathy.I never want to go to reno.
the morning is blues. ma rainey warbling crooked on a broken record player. I lay in bed and listen to you dress. your square thighs sliding into age old briefs. I see the holes forming between the stitches. I hear your thick musky hair scratching against the cotton of an undershirt.
our sheets are scented now. my night sweat, sweet and sad like a baby’s. your underarms, lusty and rich like smoke.
all night the heater crackles, dry air filling my throat, giving me dreams of cement and tires. you sleep like a drifted boat. I swirl into the small and separate ripples.
my band, Lost Boys, is playing tomorrow, downtown Hamtramck, at the Painted Lady with Julian Paaige & del Brutto. Come all ye Detroiters.
today this house is dark. last night we were strangers and now this house is dark.
I am a slumped bird with a stomach ache. I am the black squirrel on the porch. I am my own warped reflection in the soap dispenser. I am the smallest entity.
the church was dark— a thick yellow. overhead lights buzzing with flies. crock pots bubbling with beans. an exorcism in a strip mall. pornography under the beds. I could hide under the chairs, then. I pretended I knew God. I feared the ghosts, I feared the guilt, I feared the burning in my brain.
you don’t have to understand. you are a supple spirit billowing below me. I am wicked and shining, together and apart. forget the things I’ve said. I am regret regret regret.
UPHILL ON UPDYKE
there are places where broken sidewalks are lined with clover and whole cities are made of still apartment complexes. on road sides dead things rot with new heat, the sugary smell of wild queen ann’s lace and the sharp bite of melting skin. trees the gypsy moths will plague when…
today I crave the forest and its cloud of undergrowth. palominos behind the birches and pines. a forest like my grandfather’s, where the moss separates in the rain and everything is islands.
I could cry driving through maryland. new york. the colors are thick and wavering. there is such suffocating loneliness on the highway. I am lonely for nothing. I am welling for nothing.
the rain is so light it looks like snow. the dark living room, the crooked mirror. I’d take out the garbage but I’m used to the smell. raw chicken and coffee grounds.
when it is gray like this, this apartment is a world. windows like paintings. nothing outside.
I close the windows. no more wet tires.
a relief to have the sky clouded over while I pick up the strewn pieces of our lingering days. a red wool blanket from scotland and a coffee stain spilled over and over. the blood spatter on the door. rose petals from an old highway gas station in a velvet-lined box.
remember the bowling alley, all alone, warm beer in water bottles. remember the bathroom floor, the laundry room, the stiff yellow couch. it isn’t fair to you, my compartments. my deep and sauntering desires.
I miss so much my stomach is sinking. I am a confiscated poison. I am remote and still.