Sunday, April 26, 2009

Life Story

After you've been to bed together for the first time,
without the advantage or disadvantage of any prior acquaintance,
the other party very often says to you,
Tell me about yourself, I want to know all about you,
what's your story? And you think maybe they really and truly do

sincerely want to know your life story, and so you light up
a cigarette and begin to tell it to them, the two of you
lying together in completely relaxed positions
like a pair of rag dolls a bored child dropped on a bed.

You tell them your story, or as much of your story
as time or a fair degree of prudence allows, and they say,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
each time a little more faintly, until the oh
is just an audible breath, and then of course

there's some interruption. Slow room service comes up
with a bowl of melting ice cubes, or one of you rises to pee
and gaze at himself with mild astonishment in the bathroom mirror.
And then, the first thing you know, before you've had time
to pick up where you left off with your enthralling life story,
they're telling you their life story, exactly as they'd intended to all along,

and you're saying, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
each time a little more faintly, the vowel at last becoming
no more than an audible sigh,
as the elevator, halfway down the corridor and a turn to the left,
draws one last, long, deep breath of exhaustion
and stops breathing forever. Then?

Well, one of you falls asleep
and the other one does likewise with a lighted cigarette in his mouth,
and that's how people burn to death in hotel rooms.

-Tennessee Williams


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

1 am

she is the kind of shaken
that makes me feel perfect
pale and empty like the frames of barns
about to be torn down
but the girl isn't old
she bleeds green sapling branches
beautifully disheveled and harmfully ignorant
to how cold the winter will be

she drinks bottles of wine like excuses
and cries at stupid movies
she is good at getting what she wants
better at getting what she doesn't
fueled off chaos and lonely in silence
so she makes every blinking eyelash a collision

the first day we met
she kissed me drunkenly like high school
I couldn't taste it then
but her chest is a hallway
her head is detention
there is something burning behind her eyes
but her pupils sit like nicotine filters

don't give her matches
she will light them
don't give her sweat
she will drink it

she will break you
left alone, she will shatter your teacups
and ash on your love seats
sit shotgun as you drive on her guilt trip
switch faces like Shakespeare masks
she will hang up
stare dirty and
laugh crazy

she will wake you in the middle of moonlight
steal you from dreams of yellow leaves and iridescence
holding her mistakes like paintbrushes
as the blood drips solar systems on our kitchen tile
she will smile like empty clock face
laugh like the bottom of vodka bottles
apologize for over shooting 11 stitches

no, you cannot have a cigarette

I wish I was the one with the needle and thread
sewing with insurance paid fingers her miscalculation
I would hem her hands over themselves
so she would know how it felt to be helpless
embroider the word consequences into her forearm

she wears manipulation lipstick
thinks because she is a psych major
she can sweet talk the doctors

but girl, right now
there is someone being paid
to check up on you hourly
so take the attention
take the white walls ans the white linens
take being lonely and never alone
take being sober in a hospital ward

I cannot carry you
my head is heavy enough

this world is going to lose you
around and around in traffic circles
so take each person as a roadmap
we are not pit stops or bathroom breaks
everyday your faith is going to dare
your heart to stop beating
trick your eyes into crossing
reality is going to mug you in the middle of the street
steal back what you think the world owes you

please stop saying you're sorry
responsibility will come easily
the hard part is keeping it
owning it
like your finger prints on the bottle
and the blood stains on the blanket

no, I'm not laughing
no, this isn't funny
your ribcage is a harness
if you let it
life will hang you
we cannot catch you
we can barely stand to
watch you fall

-Sierra DeMulder