There’s a piece of trash at the gas station
Stationary, sitting on the sidewalk
Walking towards me is a woman
A woman that says,
“Hey boy, want some company?”
And when she asks if I want company
I do want company
But company shouldn’t present as it does presently
It presents as
Looking for you across the room
Room to grow in the space you gave me
Space that let me lean into uncertainty
Like I leaned into my mother’s arms
The day you left and when you left
I was all dressed up for church
It was a robin’s egg dress shirt
A blue to match the sky
And a tiny blazer that wasn’t quite my size
And you picked me up and kissed me…
It starts like threading yarn in a needle threading the vein
turning red pulling vocal cord blood and muscle
the things that grow in you like algae
blooming on a lake as blue as agate or turquoise—
do you want to be that lake? Maybe the granite beneath
it? The pull of iron the streams turning to rust?
You become flotsam on the shore:
driftwood pine needles blush herb and sunrise gore…
I wrap them like fine china in layers
of old newspapers and bubble wrap
andstill I know that the moving man
will drop the box or hit a pothole
on that bad stretch of road heading
out of town and something will crack.
All spring I have watched song
sparrows readying their nest in the rotting
crotch of a birch tree, laying in twigs
and leaves and feathers, lacing it up
withstring pulled from the canvas
deck chairs, only to have the arborist…
More than a stirring, more than a rag soaked in gasoline, these nights in the streets are about need.
It all gets televised, and television is about something else: a box or a flattened box, a profound stillness masquerading as movement.
No Future becomes a slogan, and then we move on. We live the No.
A billion smaller boxes. Little coffins for ideas.
There’ll be time enough for mindlessness. A spoon and a melting lawn gnome.
I want to inject my cell phone. Smart drugs. Traffic cones. Dunce caps. Safety orange. Blaze orange.
We gorge on that which muddies up the blood.
– Glen Armstrong…
I expected to return and find the house
collapsed on itself in my absence.
But I came back,
half as beaten down as before but still unwhole,
and found nothing changed,
all the way down to the dust bunnies
in the corner of the stairs.
I spent days and weeks before this one bracing myself,
building up my walls
where they had started to crumble away.
I placed a bucket in my hand
to bail myself back into the hole
I thought I created in my hurried exit
but found no such thing.
Nothing could have prepared me
for the amount of inaction needed.
I had prepared a grand re-opening.
and no one came.
I’ve never been good at adjusting
– Rachael Gay…