Monday, November 5

mid ohio

grace is useless, so i've given up on grace;
okay, for now, as a weird gravity-ball of fat and thigh.
it works, so why strive higher?
thicker lashes, longer hair,
made of sparks and autumn air
clean and sad and light and high.

it's a nervous sick dream, as Lowell said
she could be The Atlantic Ocean On My Head
but the only waves i get are nausea. Driving through M-A-
cities cling to sides of hills like I cling to the steering wheel,
a sweaty mess, and cry.

and my stumbling nights I hold close to my chest
like illegible cards. come here, my mirror,
my madman, despite how we're out of time,
come back together in white sheets and curtains, linen-pure.
i am your mermaid, ever absurd, ever demure.

this immortal heart stuff is stupid; even if my body
never aged, things still get different: the window of congratulation
is done, certain chances have been skipped, and six
years of regret have made me unfit
for those snowy cotton mornings i had wished for.

still maybe, still maybe, I tell myself
at sixty or seventy even, i could run my hands
along a pale bedskirt, beside your creaking bones,
heart in my throat again, & your jaw
like the rind of an orange, permanent, mixed
with thunderstorm air. give up, give up,
prepare for winter, prepare.

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