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I.

When you think of us, think of rams suspended on a vertical wall, horns tangled, knees locked. You push each other back, then forward. You sweat against the rock. You dislocate your shoulders, tear yourselves raw, crack bone, bend flesh. You cannot accept that the mountain will not be moved, that you are falling.

Sometimes, you call this love.

Sometimes.

 

II.

This is marriage. Every organ becomes a drum, the solid pieces of you become fluid, and the force of your surging cracks the walls of your skin.

This is love, a bleeding out as your body empties, exposes its delicates, festers in the sun and allows the wind to move you.

This is loss, finding pieces of you in the concrete, buried in the sand and the dirt and the grass.

This is motherhood, a body filled with the grass and dirt you couldn’t clean off, you couldn’t leave behind.

This is forgetting – you will never run out of reasons to write, stories to tell, scars to re-open.

These are the chasms, the endings that become beginnings – there we build bridges, dare ourselves across.

 

III.

Keep the pictures. Keep the clock, the coffee mug, a single chair.

Keep the dress hidden in the closet, wear it at noon while drinking black coffee.

Dream in your belly; leave the hunger there, let it grow. Name it Adelia after Paris.

Dream of Paris in the rain.

Keep your fictions, let them be real at noon.

Don’t choose. Yet. Make every possibility yours.

See doors. Write swing sets, humid porches and soaked suns, Christmas lights, boys with guitars, and white sedans.

See beer. Drink coffee. Dream of wine.

Write your hands, your back, your shoulders, your thighs, all the rounded pieces of you.

 

IV.

Careful words, careless

Careful men, careless

Like some painted sky

The almost perfect are never careless

Pointed tongues, sharpened toes

 

Share your poetry

Deny every round thing

Be framed, always

Pointing out

 

V.

Be wrapped in motel fans

Stay to write everything impossible.

 

Like glass

In the trash

Piece by piece

 

Pick one, begin

Continue you have

Miles of asphalt and grazing lands

Barb wires and spontaneous trees

Vague horizons

 

Like static

persistent in the dashboard

Minute by minute

 

Pick one, stop

Reflect – you have

Narrow rooms and dirty dishes

Chewed pillows and cloudy windows

 

Like dreams

Create space, the world is

Too small and you

Too large to fit

your appetites.

 

VI.

 

You begged to be a man

You cried when nothing grew out

You only grew in,

Storing space,

For real men

To occupy.

 

VII.

 

Angry words

You deserve

Everything

You bury

 

The rain in the window

The rain in the walls

Everything you keep

 

Damp

 

Imagine sand paper

Imagine concrete

Imagine glass

 

Brace yourself

 

VIII.

 

Stay. Live.

Let him leave.

Let Adelia kick, give her a nickname.

Ade.

Dream of her, instead.

 

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