Waking in the mouth of the city with its skyscraper teeth,
I find myself unconsciously seeking or coveting a silence;
Begging for the thin atmosphere sleeping on rolling mountains,
Dotted with the peaks of trees like green sequins.
(There is a craving that beckons when I breathe in
but that air is choked with thick slivers of brown fog)
Every time I drink the water, I think of a slower death;
Imagining it infectious, splashing down my tunneled throat;
Every time I sip, having to apologize to my body:
“I should love you more than this; I am sorry.”
(How does one escape the romance of their own demise?
This jungle of concrete is sucking the color from my skin)
I live with the dusts of a downtown mixed in with my blood;
Stretches of traffic light up my veins with dark red brake lights;
There’s a bustle in my heart, like a farmer’s market on Sunday;
With the want to sip whisky neat against the backdrop of quiet.
(And so with my eyes pencil-thin-tight, I jump off,
To where frothy streams trickle down paths of rocks)
Truth is, I’m sick of poetry with my own tongue;
I want to find it under thick grasses bathed in light;
The breezes through the pines sing its song to me alone;
Let the world speak to me, instead of I to it.
I am finding things deep in my pockets,
things that remind me of you: string
that I tied around my ring finger to remember
that crying when stumbling home was a bad thing,
a bad thing. A seashell from the beach of Avalon,
bone white, bone cold, the colour of me, you said.
I am emptying out the corners of my life
and finding sand, still, and it itches and it
burns. It finds its way into the creases
and cracks, and no matter how many times
I take long baths and try not to think,
you’re still somewhere hidden.
But I have spoken to the elderly lady
down the street. She runs a laundromat
and she fell in love with a boy like you,
once. Forty years ago, he had blonde hair
and sea blue eyes and he was made of ice.
He melted into her and deep within him
I will run you through the washing
over and over. I will sleeplessly pour powder
over my body, and I will not rest
until I remember what it feels like
to be clean.