There’s no incentive to tell the truth
when you’re already in this deep, he said.
I’m just hoping to die peacefully in my sleep.
I’ve had some of my best conversations with strangers, she said,
because they have no idea who they’re dealing with.
There was a boy with skin
as dark as the earth
& a girl with
eyes as blue as the deep
& they loved
each other so well
that people could
for in their hearts,
Has made peace with this monster
so there’s no danger unless you
wear a perfume that smells like raw meat.
this is a long line of teeth
that keep the dark at bay
& it works OK, but there’s
also no bite left in
anybody around here anymore
this is a machine with no attachments whatsoever,
so it’s guaranteed to break down just when you think you need it most
Sails about all night. It explains why I look like hell in the morning, she said.
He sneaked through the world like night itself
& never gave himself a chance to love.
at dark when all the eyes come out
When she played her music even the night demons stopped their work
& it took them some time to remember what it was they were doing
& the best of them had no stomach for it for a long time after that.
Next Big Thing
On the lookout for
the next big thing
because it would solve
a lot of the problems
of having to deal
with the same old stuff.
We had neighbors once who never cleaned their house & left dishes in the sink & when there were no more dishes their dad would go out & buy another set of plastic dishes for $9.99 at Ben Franklin & one winter the house caught on fire & there were great piles of melted plastic everywhere & nothing could be saved & they moved to a new town with nothing but the clothes on their back & a new set of plastic dishes the church ladies gave them. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a new start.
She moved with the grace of a cat & her tongue licked at the corner of her lips & I’m sure she would have helped me if I could have said I am just a child & don’t know what to do, but I was just a child & didn’t know how to tell her about those new & raw places in my heart, so she stood there in the dim light with her hair like a cloud of perfume around her face & neither of us spoke & now I wish I could go back & hold her & say someday we will laugh & ache about this.
I need someone to invent a mirror that leaves out some of the details, she said.
I’m at that point in the day where I’m tired of myself, she said,
so if you don’t mind, I’m going to be someone else until bedtime
& we had a lovely time together, my new friend & I.
We’re already in the new age, she said.
What does that mean? I said. It means we
can stop waiting & start living, she said
but after she left, I still waited
a little while more just to be safe.
When we lived in the city we used to leave the lights on
to keep away the burglars. Now we leave the lights off
to keep away the neighbors. My mom says it’s because
there’s always a chance we’ll like the burglars.
We used to go visit my grandma on the train & on the way my sister & I would talk to people we met & tell them we were from Hawaii & could speak Polynesian & I’d hold up a 7-Up & say this is called puka-puka-wanini on the Big Island & we’d make up longer and longer names until it took about 10 minutes to say one & about that time we would be there & we’d say aloha & go off to have lunch at my grandma’s & my sister would hold up a Mrs. Paul’s fish stick & say in Hawaii they call these molo-molo-pooey-pooey & I’d try not to choke on my fruit punch.
National Geographic Hat
He said the hat kept his soul from drifting off
& I asked if he knew this from experience
& he laughed & said all his best bits
were from National Geographic.
Mystery of the Universe
I had a teacher once who said the greatest mystery of the universe was her husband & after that I could never understand why we wasted so much time on things like the cure for cancer or putting a man on the moon when we could just have all those scientists working on him.