blog, poem

Radiogirl

You are rad.

Rad like a palindrome, rad like frayed scarves.

Like a Wilhelm scream ripping through the hollow undertow.

Rad like the loudest symphony, like the first chair violin.

You got a goddamn good name and I like saying it in the tub. You got a schedule of shit to do. You got a paycheck coming in.

You are rad and lovely and firm, in that order, like a cabin in the woods.

Lovely like buttermilk, firm like Arnie’s bicep. A butt tucked into gray sweats tapered at the ankle. Black nikes, a little scuff.

A couple of middle fingers up, for your insecurities, for the ticket stuffed into your passenger side door.

A hazy voice floating through the atmosphere, falling on a microphone, into the radio waves, onto my canned headphone eardrums, like silky smoke from a tan candle.

Let me kiss your lip like butter, my goodness, let me show you off to momma. Let me show you to the thirsty desert, to a linoleum grocery store. Let me grab your hand and pinch your hip and piss you off just right.

“It comes with cheese?” a quick chuckle from your chest, “a little cheese on top,” and the waiter nods and grins.

You don’t interrupt.

You swing a red leather bag and glide through the snowy city streets. You tip three quarters at the deli and hug the owner Jim who gives me a hard time. I play along. You seem to own the room, everywhere you go, you take the whole place over. The boring couple in the booth stops to stare. Their spoons hovering over tomato soup and cornbread, spilling a little, splashing onto their napkin bibs.

I follow in your breezy wake.

You spin the key, the deadbolt pops. You throw your coat onto the couch and put an album on.  Something funky from the 80’s. I kick my shoes off and tumble into your living room. We drank too much, I think. Your cheeks smudge my glasses. It’s midnight.

“Where should I write to you?”

“Here. The mailman comes on Thursdays.”

“Do you check your mail?”

“Sometimes.”

I squint to see the lights outside. You nudge.

“Leave it on the radio.”

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Into The Mirror

Everything’s the same.  It’s just a little different.

I have a heavy heart. The whole world is out there killing each other, like maniacs, like a bunch of children who don’t get their way. As if the last thousand years taught us nothing; or simply, that many folks have no grasp of human life, of human suffering, of the love that weaves us all together. I didn’t lose anyone this weekend, but I know someone who did. It hurts. It hurts all over.

I went to bed at 5:00 three times this week.

Like the last time, when the clown went into the theater and started shooting. Or the time before that, when the kid went into the school full of little kids and started shooting. Or when the student went into the lecture hall and started shooting. Or when those two kids went into the high school and started shooting. Or when the watch-guard went into the neighborhood and started shooting the kid with the skittles. Or when the men in masks went into the cartoon room and started shooting.

I am empty.

And the whole world will feel this way for a week or two, and then everything will be the same again, but just a little different. We will all commit to never forget, only to forget, until they start shooting again. They will be different people, in different places, in different masks. But it’ll be the same: another chill that veils the humans of the world in a gripping, but distant, paralysis.

Everything’s the same. It’s just a little different.

I can’t seem to get away from November. Like three years ago, when I lost you. I unraveled. I walked around with my hood on, wandering in the wind. Like last year, when I lost you again. I didn’t drive anywhere for a little while. I didn’t want to get in my car, because I knew it wouldn’t take me to you. Like right now, I’m losing you one more time. I’m walking around with this feeling, this feeling that feels like porcelain fingers on a baby grand, in a cement corridor, the taste of lukewarm earl grey. The waking up at 3:00am, the blinks before you realize it wasn’t a dream. The lack of appetite, the lack of appetite to eat a sandwich, to play, to do all those things I used to do. The solitude, the scribbling of poetry and the exchanging of glances with the passerby’s I’ll never meet. The melancholy chuckle. The early evening.

This November, it’s the same. It’s just a little different.

And so when I see the woman on the bus whose face looks just like a fingerpainting, madness and all, in brown flats and red stockings and a peculiar gaze, that of a hurricane, I’m struck with the art that we can all be sometimes. And when I dry my dripping scalp and pause, shivering, and ache for the towel that wrapped around me once before, the one you used to keep for me, I’m struck with the art we can all be sometimes. And when the gunman unloads his final magazine into the skull of the earth, and the thought of your death is why I skipped lunch, and the ribs of my stomach stretch out to catch my fleeting breath, I’m struck with the art we can all be sometimes. And when I look into the mirror, and it’s the same face as yesterday, only a little different, and some mornings I’m afraid of the person I’ve become, I’m struck with the art we can all be sometimes. 

And I remember that, just like last time, it’ll all be the same again. It’ll just be a little different.

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