Wednesday, December 27

more disjointed tales from sparkle city

one tuesday morning i woke up in such pain
that all i could feel was the white light coming in from my window to the east.

with eyes as wide as saucer plates, i raised my arms to the ceiling
imagining myself a ballerina or something pinkmouthed and bland.
i knew i was a map with some spot marked on me,
but i had no clue where I was.

walking up and down the stairs of two houses
i kept trying to explain, "Look,
I never really liked this anyway."
the receptionist replied,
"You are lazy and afraid."

O receptionist,
Just because I wail do not assume I am afraid.
O receptionist,
Just becaue I do not act, do not assume I am lazy.

summer parched upon my lower lip
and he dragged my long wrist into the
air conditioning.
we stared together: that glass
of an eye. but it was nothing light
like sparkle & heels.

the city was made of black
boxes with butter yellow windows.
cut up into grids.)
there was no shame
in this place, like there was in my home-
(i think
it wasn't always raining there.)

i unwrapped my gift like a pair of diamond earrings
or a long red dress. when the silver paper
was all torn away, it was a window,
a window given to me. and for three nights
i stared out of it at those buildings,
those sleek boxes with the windows on.

I should have known something was terribly wrong
when he called my girl 'nobody'. But I had lived a thousand springs
in Chesterland, where there were plenty of hills
to speed down, and willow trees shook at me whenever i walked by.

I have dreamt of Cleopatra in my living room,
all decked in gold and glitter, like a high school play.
I stretch her thicklipped smile across my canvas.
Now she is mine forever, though my ancestors labored for her.

I had been baking bread, and I got flour on the telephone
as I wiped makeup off the corners of my eyes with my wrists
(as i rested my curved spine on the couch cushions.)
I don't remember what we talked about.

It is January 24th and I am fixing a plate of potatoes for Ethan.
I think somehow, I have always known this constricting truth:
you will never escape potatoes. The lights in someone else's white kitchen hum.
Outside is a hillside, purple with night, green with life.
I can hear moving water.

Storms blow against my white raling, which I had just been bleaching.
Sweetly I admit my guilt.
Yes, with bleach on my hands I admit my guilt,
and prepare for, eight years later,
a trip to that city.

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