Saturday, October 4, 2008


your eyes flick back at me,
daunting, knowing,
reflecting the question i threw
up into the air.

for you to catch,
for you to throw back,
at me.

for you to throw away.

you have no answers for me,
i know.

no map of the world to spread out,
pin up,
trace with a magic marker.

"here's where we'll go, babe,
and then here,
with your hair pinned back,
my arm wrapped around you.
slurpees and mars bars,
for the road.
you and me, kid.
you and me."

spread your lies,
spread your paranoia,
spread your legs, sweetheart.

all for her,
all for him,
all for us,
all for me.

and you ask me if i am afraid to change,
without opening your mouth,
that tongue-tied up in knots,
robbed of beauty.

i lie back and stare at the plastic stars on the ceiling,
fifty to a package,
glow in the dark.

"hey baby, it's the fourth of july."

i wish i could crawl into the song,
sit on your front step,
with a cigarette,
wait for you to come back and say i'm sorry,

and i avoid your gaze,
chip the paint off the wall.

try to think of ten thousand ways to sign my name,
where i put the curls and loops,
the flair,
the heavier push on the pen,
leaving those indentations on the page,
my mark.

no, i don't fear change,
i like the feel of the clinking in my back pocket,
the smile from a stranger,
with a stain on their soul,
ripped hole in the arm of my sweater.

"can i help you, ma'am?"

"hello, my name is...
my name is,
my name is..."

i long for the re-identity,
a new mask,
new paint on the walls,
that new soul smell.

i live for second-chances,
first days,
ears that haven't heard my boring old tales a million and a day,
again and again.

like you, my dear.
like you.

yet i loathe the forgetting i'll do,
the names that will blur in my head,
directions to that little taco stand.

what was it you liked so much?

how the ice machine clamoured,
where you got that scar.

i'll miss that.
i will

and, now your eyes begin to close,
with a whisper,
a frozen denial that slides between us.

can you feel it?

under the bedsheets,
through our fingertips,
the kink in your hair,
my breath on the back of your neck.

"i know we'll never change."

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