My heart is a hotel room
and I am alone here tonight
cold windows, cold sheets, warm breath
cold city sparkling coldly below
time drying on my thighs.
If you ask me, I will tell you:
even as a child, I knew
childhood was a mistake.
It’s been a long day.
Now I am 37. The mornings go on
until four o’clock.
That is when I am closest to death.
Today I am eating tulip leaves, dying of water.
Because there is the unreal
and then there is the really really unreal.
When you are my age you will understand.
My hair grows long and I cut it
my hair grows long again and I cut it again.
Change is seduction.
Change is seduction,
seduction is a message:
you could never be this again
even if you wanted it.
Now I am 37.
Who even am I
hungover, not even real
I froze my eyes with the lip of a Coke can.
Well water and jasmine
milk milk lemonade
the perfume of the suburbs haunts my hangover
and every ex-boyfriend finds me on the internet.
I was drunk enough to look in the mirror
and think, this is OK.
Now I am stoned, eating cake in bed.
Sorrow is a long game.
When there is nowhere else to go
past all desire, past the place of feelings
my hands are sexy lions
hunting in the yellow forests of memory.
I don’t want to remember things.
Paper like moth wings
those folded notes
soft foxed edges.
Handful of pony beads.
High school high school high school.
Why won’t you help me not feel like this?
All the dying commas fall
blazing from the sky.
The moon has a drunken face
laughing and laughing over the gravel drive
in the blood-bright October air.
The truth is not that bad
coming from you.
But when the truth is
coming for you
that is another story.
Who can loosen a Champagne muselet with her teeth?
Are we ever not within a breath of hell?
Jim Beams, like 3 or 4 of them, and
I am past reason.
I am licking the tender inside
of my own tender elbow.
I am the rickety queen of my own bed.
The last time I was beautiful I
carried the cold in on my coat
carried a book wrapped in brown paper,
a surprise. My hair a crown of braids.
Candlelight, fat glasses of golden wine.
Be careful what you wish for
in the airport bar.
Now I am burning
and burning in circles.
My crown is fire. No, rain. No, fire.
My crown is the heat of things passing.