Anonymous said: Are you gay?
Nope, why do you ask?
I don’t sleep much. I don’t eat much.
I don’t inhale much except smoke and coffee and I am far too in touch
with the curves and lines of the outside of my body.
I live in my head
and sometimes I feel like I’m dead and it keeps me
from reaching any kind of happy medium.
I am scared of tedium and of making people nervous
and in case you were wondering I’m not sure you deserve this.
It might be too much.
But I wanted to let you know that not to deter you
but rather to not let you infer something far from what’s true.
I am honest
and honestly a little insane but I am capable of withstanding
wonderful amounts of pain.
I’ve felt and seen through
all shades of ups and blues and because of this I have learned
how to care and to hope
to be cared for in return.
There are many things I’d still like to write and do,
but for now I just want to offer fair warning.
At first I might not make much sense
but I hope one day you’ll come to know that I wake up each morning
with a gaping heart, empty stomach and shoulders too tense
in relentless yearning,
in anticipation of a something more.
I am only looking for someone to help me a little
in opening that next door.
For my sister.
Mom and Dad would set us free
from the house in the worst of winter,
swaddled in endless layers of scarves, coats, mittens,
out-grown boots. Weighed down, we’d stomp and tumble tirelessly
to the decaying fields of our grandpa’s neighboring farm and pluck
the remaining cattails from the frozen-crumbled ground. You’d pound
the back of my heavy-hatted head, and the white fluff would flurry
down around us.
Any pain paled in comparison to the bright shrieks and snickers
that soothed and thawed the air near our mouths.
Many years have passed
since our hot-chocolate days. We moved away
to an older place, no fields or flowers in sight. Now our air
is stuffed with hot smoke and haze and Jack Daniels’ plight. Moonstruck,
each day we hide from the light, persist past noon and emerge fragile
at night to choke down cold shots in repeal and rescission. But these are
our decisions. We wake up the next day, still not so far from each other
in the cloud-gray shade of our apartment, and I prepare breakfast.
Two slices of burnt, buttered bread. Still our heads
pound. Still we stumble. Still we beg to be set
free from a house that contains and crumples
us in the worst of winter.
Mom would pout if she could see us step out now for work
each morning. We’re grossly underdressed for the weather.
Seven eleven smile.
Not much time left, almost home now:
Caffeinated car rides,
high on evening energy, lose my mind for a while
into dark, rich comfort— we drink up as much as possible.
Rushing as always, but at our own slow pace,
savoring every sip, the coffee on my lips,
and the mundane wonder of it all.
But what if I told you that I give up
on the sad, the boring, the job of every day?
Your foot would fall heavy to the pedal,
and we’d speed away into a holiday,
eyes closed, fingers crossed,
laughing our clothes and nametags off.
I have a special eraser,
a charcoaled pink, rectangular, slanted one.
Well, I lost it, I think,
but it had a note on it from my best kind of friend
that said something lovely
about having a nice day,
and there was a little drawing
of a baby bee buzzing by.
If I could find my eraser,
I’d erase today,
I’d erase my brain,
and hand over my heart to my best kind of friend
with a little note etched in, saying,
“I’ll appreciate you ‘til the end—
and after that.”
The train passed by it,
as the sun was going down and
the gold from the autumn leaves
dripped down to the ground
and disappeared into shadows.
And what came after the sight of it I couldn’t control;
it all came alive in my mind.
The train took off down the tracks
and with each click and clack of the cars
I felt it more and more.
In all its isolation,
I felt the wonder,
what had it been, what could it be,
what is it now?
in as much naïve wisdom as I can muster,
Time happened and took away the travelers,
anxious to board their trains.
Time took away the busy conductors,
the whistles of their locomotives.
Time took away the shuffling confusion of feet,
the voices resonating throughout the station:
where are you going, where have you been,
I’ve missed you so much.
Time took its glory, much like time tends to do
to all things.
But I won’t forget it.
It’s a memory to me, and though it suffers
in abandonment, I think it will soon become
more accustomed to the nature surrounding it;
it will sink into the weeds, the vines, the leaves,
just as it already sunk like leaden weight
into my head.
And as the landing faded and rusted into the past,
into the distance,
I acknowledged, with regards to it,
to my fallen friend, this:
memories are, after all,
where everything lives on.
The train never stops
to say goodbye.
Or maybe I’ve just got it all wrong.
Maybe I’m the only one on this train
who missed their stop a long while ago.