we amuse ourselves with retro cameras
take midnight photos of naked feet
e-kvetch that we’re not sleeping and it’s cold
know tomorrow brings a game of hard stones
the shrieking of the trees is piercing
so many lovers have swapped wildness for safety
thank god there’s someone to remind me of the beauty in chaos;
that creating without restraint is the whole point
she texts if the desire to change
is not accompanied by behaviour that creates change,
the desire is not to change.
i reply: making the same mistakes over and over again
should get easier, shouldn’t it?
we crave the same things: a reason, mostly, and a warm bed.
after deliberating i hit SEND on: i can’t stand it anymore,
i have to live near water.
she pauses, calls my bluff: what are you waiting for?
why stay in that godforsaken climate? find a place
where the tides don’t drive you crazy
and a clump of trees you can call your own
in herspeak, this translates as
I LOVE YOU I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY YOU WITH YOUR
MANIC INKWELL AND OBSESSION WITH LAUNDRY
GO DO THE THING YOU NEED TO DO AND DO IT IN A PLACE
THAT WAS BORN TO CONTAIN YOU
breathless. this leaves me breathless.
i know that by contain she means hold without holding you back
we share the demon november.
i give to her glass buttons,
some dream scenarios, silly small pep talks,
the fragile currency of paper
and blueprints for a new planet.
she reminds me again to just do the damn thing
and not spend another 10 years talking about it.
eventually the happy will stick.
yes and eventually the abstract will give way to the concrete.
i confess to her that concrete makes me anxious. so do the words
borders, boundaries, schedule, project management.
assessment forces me to lie down.
group project causes me to hyperventilate.
i go back to my dark sad room and make a list of joyful things
starting with marc chagall. his stained-glass genius
rescued me in chicago and france.
also, i bought a banjo at a yard sale; music can save lives.
did i do something i was previously afraid to do? ever?
sometimes she is she, and sometimes she is me.
we know the terrifying things are getting closer.
do we just stand still and let them pummel us?
maybe if we start eating better
maybe if we lower our blood pressure
maybe if we use more yellow ochre and less risperdal
maybe the chaos is in the water, and in the treetops too,
and all those things that one time felt calming
are proof janis was right: it’s all the same fuckin day, man
maybe tonight there will be another instagram of curled toes,
chandelier and ceiling blurred in the background,
grainy blue softness at the edges.
maybe this is the photo she will send me when the zooming stops.
maybe striped socks.
maybe she will accidentally hit REPLY ALL.
maybe this is the night the lifeboats arrive.