the same kind of bad as me.

it was early. 
i was at the beer bottle-&-can recycling dispenser with a shopping cart full of bottles. it was busy devouring and destroying until it was pot-belly-full and an attendant had to come and empty it. it was too early for this sort of thing. but i was okay. the sun was cold and could only flicker quickly through the wind but i was okay.  i was studying peacefully the inside a giant dirty bin filled with the ready-to-recycle crushed shiny cans the greyish grand union employee was emptying. i thanked him twice in one sentence. he wouldn't look me in the eye at all and i'm pretty sure i confused him or made him very angry, something of the sort. i do that. i have habits.

"that looks really pretty, actually" i said and gestured with a nod toward the christmas-tinsel-silver mess of cans. he didn't respond or he did but just by scowling, he lifted the bag out of the bin that reeked of one hundred strangers drunken nights, month old nights. he didn't seem to find it at all pretty, let alone any opposite of disgusting. i could see that he hated me. his face was giving away his obvious notion that probably i had never had to get involved in anyone else's messes ever. it was windy and the garbage bag was flapping, sounding like a bird with very large wings. the situation now was no longer okay. i felt small and entitled to something i didn't even own, we all empty garbage bags, we all carry them. sometimes the bags' tops that we grab and twist in our hands are wet with that smell of trash and week old life, sometimes the juices leak out and drag on while we drag on. i took a step away from him, allowing him his assumption, which seemed to sort of relax him a bit. "not her, not ever, no sir. "
i visually resigned to the front of the beat-up chain supermarkets machines' decor. there was a flimsy paper ad taped to the beer bottle dispenser with a pixel portrait of what might be called a happy couple. the flier was announcing this very happy couples search for a baby to adopt. they were stable and catholic, it said, they lived near good schools. the kid looked up at me examining the paper as if i probably wasn't from this planet and i thought maybe he was right. i took a picture with my cell phone of the adoption seekers flier. i wanted to remember that life was actually like this. not even the stale, heavy old beer smell could make me not need one, but it was early and the kid was almost done with the garbage and all his personal crosses to carry so i put my phone away and lit a cigarette.


 they switched the lights on really fast, which okay, it just swallowed me whole, that light, i whimpered and squinted. they hate that.  they said c'mon whats with the sad songs? and i was all bells and whistles, i said nothing, i said fuck off, with your questions. bring me to the ocean.  i want to hear everyone talking from the ocean. they were all like why don't you quit writing about dreams? i said make me. i miss you in a way that only dreams allow so you will have to grin and bear it  or find another room, you lucky bastards, the hallways are vast, so go find another room. whatever you do don't just sit there. make me a drink, a stiff one, make yourself useful. did you think you could be the ocean? maybe talk its language? don't answer that. just put four ice cubes in my drink, no straw.
you think the ocean stops calling? just like that?

sit down and i'll tell you a story.
i said a stiff one, kid, you know what that means?
it means i feel a juicy, mood-ring warmth from the first ice-chilled sip. 

you'll learn.

Touching Animals For the First Time.

i said turn the lights off because that is the way i say 'we have to talk.' 
darkness is required. 

i'm glad you're listening because i still wonder you know. i didn't forget one thing. look, boy, you were always so frail. there was a volatile atmosphere to the love-making. there was shaking. you shook often. the bedroom would become disconsolate and colors would change completely to let me know i'd been very very wrong. i was alone then. we were together but i was alone with new colors.
i moved and you moved. you saw shooting stars and i saw a new sharp, swarming, needle-pointed blue, so? fuck, i'd think. "fuck" you'd say before you'd come and i'd hear my name inside and around your heavy breaths and there i'd become overwhelmingly aware of a gigantic space where my heart used to be and the unfulfilled commitments of a job required to respond to situations just like this. mentally in need of a checked-off "to-do list" only it would say "to feel" and when and where and names for these new hostile colors.  this was the wrong kind of movie, the distantly sad, but, of course, this was just the kind i'd watch. me; masochistic and curious, i stayed and i waited and watched myself in the corner near your window. it was a strong and distant sadness that was easily intoxicated, getting numb and then realizing that, i wasn't, not really.
but dove: you were just that, i wasn't just trying to be nice, dove.

have you ever held one?
any kind of bird?
it is frightening and it is never what you expect. the delicacy is startling. it's the sort of animal body that when first touched makes you jump bit at its softness and fragility.  i am not explaining this right.
listen, sit. did you ever notice the world is filled with things too gorgeously and painfully alive to be messed around with? they don't belong to us or here. look, like horses. have you ever possibly admired a horse close-up? face-to-face? you hesitate. hey, but, they'll let you. a tawny black one, maybe, or a pure earth-white horse, its muscles artistically placed and moving always as it moves.  it is almost disturbing how the muscles move this way, like a quiet girl dancing very well but not showing it off. i am asking you to watch. watch the horses. there is some trinity, total and perfect you can witness right there in their eyes that is from heaven and from earth and from hell. they're burdened by an awareness of something we are not designed to understand. it's there. peer inside. love and fear were put there and stay wildly naked and available, a bit frighteningly. right here its never a lie. they carry us without question, we get up on and ride like god called us a cab, but he didn't. we shouldn't.
you and i, we are undeserving. the earth does not wish to carry us.  it wants the attention of the horses. focus.
blue: i am saying. you were wild in this way. there were bon-fires in your eyes. i watched. i never wasn't looking. even with a vacationing heart and it's empty bedroom. the earth is warm on you, you it wishes to carry. darling you were never the wolf and i know it makes you sad but you are the fast-breathing sort of creature, the prince of animals of a graceful frailness.  and blue, im not lying, it was beautiful. 

so i can say october.

in utero
in you to her
i whimper it so.
i'm okay
i'm okay
i'm not okay
i heard you on the radio
i sort of sang along
i put my hands on myself
and i sort of sang along
i pretended i wasn't the machine gun
that could leave you so alone
ignoring any bang that said i was my own
i rewrote that
check the edits
i am your own, your home, use my bones
i don't mind at all, we're already sewn
i'm okay
i'm not okay.

so it's something.

so the truth is that last week i left a note and a small ceramic cat underneath some periwinkle flowers outside your house. i thought it best to get as close to the roots as possible, so you'd be sure. i lied to everyone. i wrote the note in light blue ink, in capital letters. the tiny flowers were all hugging.
"i dreamt about you last night. we were naked but i can't recall, really, if we touched or if we fucked. you called me tangerine."
i left fast. hello roots, touch-and-go, my heart was beating rabbit-fast.
and now i just can't seem to write with my hands at all, they're heavy and slow.
we can't sing.
i'm not blaming you. i blame the the hands. we know too much. the stories and this atmosphere and the roots and the old poems have been subdued. i have been uninvited from a place i used to curl up of and inside and it wasn't cordial. i am telling you because you know. things move especially slow or especially fast and the story is already exhausted. it's cheap and used. it's men in bars forgetting to close the door behind them while they take a piss. it's bankrupt. even autumn is hiding. the leaves don't want to die this time, i swear, they told me and even though they begged it was all done so quietly.  the tiny whimpers of leaves saying "please" and a gloomy grabbing for a season dedicated to death that somehow smells just like being very, very alive. but look what could i do? there was nothing. the air was impatient and relentless and i just stood there with the ceramic cat trying to come up with reasons not to cry.
everything was impatient, the air was fucked up, air with an amphetamine buzz. no one ever wants to be the one to decide. i was never good at being the one who decides.
regardless, it was time, and i thought we should aim for graceful. we should at least try and shoot for graceful. hey, i can do this, i said, to no one, to the ceramic cat. i promise, whatever you want, i can figure it all out.  you will never grow old. it will all stay wet and cinnamon and comely and 'tangerine'. you will never not feel clean.
the things all said: prepare for newness, sweetheart. this is a change so big even the stars are watching. video cameras are propped absurdly in the giant sky, a red recording light blinking like a planet, waiting. in the end i know we have to pretend the leaves will be okay, just lets pretend we are large mountains made of bravery and for god sakes let's not ever, ever bore them. yes, bravery. and even if it's not enough, i'll keep trying. you. it's only a dance, it's only a season. just a harmless rooted letter, no spells and no deception. the ceramic cat, resting on the roots? its for good luck and it's very wonderful to hold in your hands tightly. it is soft and hard at the same time, just like love. and okay i should say, i should tell you, i lied. we did, we fucked, in my dream. but it wasn't for me to write there, with the very sad leaves watching me and the tiny cat and her car in your driveway. no, it was best like this.