Poetry & Prose

Marching Orders

The morning comes slower now.
Rain smacks against the blinded shade,
bladed night, a moon-glint catches your eye and stops it from falling.
You can only look straight into sunlight when it is on the moon,
pausing on its way to you.

Make a pile in the center of your room,
put everything you loved yourself for loving but hated yourself for not loving enough:
empty notebooks, paintings hidden under sheets,
socks blotted with holes from walking—
tiny erosions, markers of your journey,
carrying in them a moth-path to the moonlight;
crumpled dollar bills with bloody presidents and dirty fingerprints, arsenic green,
books read and unread, the ones you know you’ll never read and the ones you don’t,
apologies to everyone who is yet to be born, sorry-that-it-has-to-be-this-ways,
an unmade bed made up of coffee stains,
summer’s sweat, your father’s sweatshirt, your new friend’s old guitar, autumn’s glow fading.
A cacophony of words that were spoken to you and you spoke in return,
carved across your back sans serif, Helvetica, bold-and-bloody,
words you lost to a digital hinterland or the unforgiving passage of time,
marked by each crease scraped across your brow;
the feeling that your life is just one enormous airplane hangar,
each of your vulgar machines shuttered under mildewed and flea-ridden tarps,
and you are moving through this room at a languid and accelerating pace.
It is all already there, already happened, you are just wandering,
waiting to see what already-happeneds are going to happen to you, next.
A note from your mother before you left your waning-like-the-moon home for the hundredth time,
the welling up of your eyes.

Rip off all your clothes, disregard whatever tears you may leave,
each of your motions was already cleaving thread from thread, there in the middle-distance.
Lie, finally, naked upon the leviathan sculpture of loss you have made
and let yourself sink down into it until you are one object among many.
Settle the dust that floats around you all the time, seeking refuge in the half-light.
Lather yourself with it until you are red-eyed-and-grey-skinned,
fill up your pores and let the mites suck out all of the moisture,
drying you up so deep that you never piss again.
No more dregs of yesterday! Come closer, my ashen child;
Oh darling, shale skin only brings out the color of your eyes.