Afterwards, the long walk, rounding the corner home, it was just me and a small black cat blinking passively,
and it was not enough, and too much, that autumn ghost in the breeze, itself a wild-willed girl and I wanted to be driving south, through the arcing brambles of headlit-caught country turns, screaming and remembering, to the ocean, to the ocean, ink rolling over itself, a midnight train of bodies, our eyes wet with dawn.
I would throw you to the night, feet first, and the night would sleep tamed in your lap as we lost our way home.
I cannot help but think of you as extension, as trailing metaphor,
a translation I’ve never mastered but that plays out, pleasingly, a fat little word of no consequence.
You make me slightly less still, me, the stillest of still lifes, a tundra in parallax, the ancient pyramids, all bones buried silent, ever, you make me less myself, less these things, more myself, or something else. I fold myself at night into the shapes of easy lovers, I cannot say a thing that bears fruit aloud, but some somnambulist alchemy brings my forehead smoother, in memory or regret, lost at sea or drowned; there has never been a difference. A heart beats biologically first.
It occurs softly there have been a thousand others though there has never been another.
a. a catalogue of breaths and watch ticks and straightened rooms and the fabric of a dress you’ll never wear again and the lowering of Gabriel when a prophet is in danger, a billowing black skirt under which we keep kings and plagues, and the curling of an rrrr under cover of tin-roof rain and the steady flow of arms wheeling forever on the edge a chameleon overcoat, you’re the colour of the horizon and if you fell we couldn’t see, and if we tried you would burn out our eyes
two husks of prophecy twin caves, almighty black holes.
b. a glass cathedral, a sweating sea and the humidity of the harbour that day you didn’t go home straight away and the exact hue of a storm and the dead, and the dead and the dead holding hands and the smell of a closed house at 3pm, face down, Bob Dylan singing, 15 and unreal, two years before the fire and the field where you were born again, and the field where you buried your love, sang come home to me and wept, salty, the ocean draining from you and all of outer space in that single pale chest.
c. you could never see it coming except when you could, and you should run, and you should have run.
Hearing Low’s $20 is like a car crash in slow motion, a neck snapping back in the night at quarter speed. The embryonic cocoon of a dimmed plane, between the desert of night clouds and the full, bright moon, the strange tide of xanax sleep, a punch-drunk submission.
I dive south, I dive south and away and leave the worst of myself by the dead fields of Wyoming.
My love is for free, my love. My love is for free.
The ghosts cradle each other, oblivious, too struck with the night, the distant sun, a land of invention and the sticky silence of radios turned down, no signal, a gentle static unbroken, and the agelessness of being ugly, the safety of it, keeps them warm, warmer together in the unholiness of spectral love forever and ever amen forever and ever amen.
He doesn’t know he’s dead, he’s still soft to the touch and ready to be undone by love, a thoroughness to his kindness, the last words he spoke a warm gun. You can’t see him anymore, even if you believe, even with a prayer plumping your lips, even with your tongue a Eucharist, even with a pure heart beating to death beneath your breast.
Imagine mood rings and native birds, the thin sunlight of a winter morning by the ocean, vague shit meant to represent a wholeness I can’t offer.
Think of the way sound funnels as you fall asleep, and the last word you dream before you wake,
think of the mess I make,
and the bitchy words that pass between us, amongst buildings hollowed like rotten teeth, grown from scrubbed streets, our hands never touching,
think of the obvious ways to relate:
I’m bad at those. Then think of all the ways to be alone,
the misspent nights on blacked out roads that wind through houses casually shuttered like sun-turned eyes, those roads keep taking us home, though, conveyer belts, a choicelessness I guess we’re choosing.
Think of harmless fun with ghosts, a mansion curled around the things I love, your name unspoken after many years inside, to keep it pure.
Please, your hands are not the shape that fits around my wrist like a baby curled against a shoulder like midnight fits a clock face
and the awful weight of your face turned in to mine is the comma in a longer phrase where you speak my name in wonder to the otherwise empty house, through the silence we were left in and the whiskey night that sank us both.