THINGS WITHOUT MEANING
Another California winter on the Strip.
You’d think the neon would have kept us warm,
You’d think a lot of things,
Things meaning things without meaning.
Love. Ache. Blood in my shoes, on my hands. What LA looks like in daylight.
Your car payment, my insurance, rent and our groceries.
It burns like sulfur in my throat, to talk about this, to talk about
If I could, these years would have never existed.
No consequences, no questions.
No hunger in my stomach, clawing out at my shirt. No hair
falling from my scalp onto travertine floors, blonde on brown. Most
importantly, no dying.
We promised not to talk of it.
Let’s imagine I had died instead, it was you in the red dress standing by
the open window, watching the lights and cars and palms. It was you
listening to the sirens of the city, like a lullaby. A mother’s refrain
of chaos and melancholy want stretching over miles.
And me, not you, lying on the floor in my tuxedo counting out crackers
for communion. Christ’s bodies from wheat thins. 100. 200. 300.
I don’t remember. We forget the things that matter, again, those things
You left me to go dancing, you desperate for a night of manufactured
happiness, not me this time. Not me. My red dress brave against my pale
skin. No wait-your red dress, your pale skin. I forget the words, the
parts, my hands, sometimes. I’m in the tuxedo on the floor counting out
crackers. That’s right.
I’m the one who takes off for the roof, dozens of cracker Messiahs
stuffed into my pockets.
I’m the one that makes sick contact with sidewalk 10 floors below.
My brains, not yours. My red, my white,
my pink and gray that spilled with crumbs of Christ. Not yours, I
promise and I swear.
You in the red dress, coming home to flashing
lights and yellow tape.
Be brave, baby, itís a tough night.
fiction poetry "fact" photography