Poem: Strand

Written in Greenwood, Seattle, Washington.

I’m thinking in water bottles filled with the same, sticky water. I’m thinking about flavorless and the way my eyes hang out of their sockets. Thyroidal currency. Blue pills that haven’t yet been prescribed. The hair that is thinning like the realness of my urban patterns. Each existence paired with those lives of people I barely say I know. Have I ever known and been close? Charming, the way the little streets make moments for me to forget. Old echoes and new echoes and incredibly profound moments of staring at the same, worthless structures. How many angles does it take to turn something angelic? How many forceful breaths in and out before the world vanishes in one sticky gulp of tap water?

I awake artichoke the thing I ate last in the list. Echoes of desire. Remembering what it was I once was able to bring to my mouth. Like the butter sauce. Like the prickly edge. Tips of teeth without nerve pain. An understanding of value for pale green. At least the understanding of the presence of color at all. Now itching on the head. Now itching on the leg. Now itching on the arms. Occasionally the stomach a knife slitting its own throat. Occasionally moments of dizziness and a desire to be walking down the road, at age fourteen, full of hate and the ability to get lost in the clouds while thinking about ending everything. There is a distance to this anti-nostalgia. I consider the gap the gift. I look at everyone around me. Who are the ones that don’t escape like I have? Who are the ones that don’t rest easy at night? What matrix of disgust, withdrawal, ferocity fuel that unstable platform? What is a word that describes not finding the perfect, lifesaving balance?

The cart and the ridge. The cartridge. What is held within the two works? Ink that is spelled blood and leaking onto your hands, staining your clothes, sticky and thick, property of life, and hidden through lies and structures.

“Are you going to finish your sludge?” I stare around at all the faces. In the right light they would look beautiful, but they look as mine looks, back at me through the tidal force of the laptop: shades of pinks, tans, grays. Shades of the people who seek wooden tables and lack of light. I dream in a deficit of vitamin D and my breath is as monotonous as my voice in saying please/thank you/hello/good bye. At least there is no wrath and at the least there is no joy here. Just the soft squirming like worms finding that calm, immediate removal of the soul as the tar sits above a damp earth, slowly warming into a volcanic grave.

I scratch and I ramble. I wrap and I wrack. Think about the exporting process. The open books. The potatoes roasting to “hot” in the oven. 10 minutes. “Turn.” 10 minutes. “Eat.” Enjoy as they scald the roof of the mouth. The roof of the house that is the mouth. Bite sides of the mouth. Your teeth are rats. The blood is the rainwater leaking in. It is a storm, the blood is precipitation, and this is it, this is life, that will go on forever, as you spend infinities of moments which cascade like GIFs across the ethereal elsewhere of a screened in paradise. Moments to enjoy before everything turns off the last time.

It gets quick the way it sets in with or without the need for increased metabolic ratios and curiosities revolving around plasma, quarks, and the release of blue light before bedtime. I siphon images. Hook needles and tubes up to them like horseshoe crabs being drained of blood. It’s always been a cool feeling. Subtle recollection, like encryption. People are moving and making their way like snails across my vision, my peripheral padding, the boxed-in bloat effect. We light and we light ourselves up. Receiving letters and books that carry the weight of titles that include words like “thrasher.” Meanwhile I’m thinking of the pit in my stomach and the inhabitants therein. And the skin that’s rough like aged cheese. And the smell of imported spice and oil on my lips. And my breathing, which is heavy, and still, and I wonder if it’s similar to your breathing, which is forever behind us, in that reverse arrow construct, or forever across from me, on this spinning orifice in the darkest pit of space.

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