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Matthew Smith Aug 2015
Some miles were so long, it took whole years before we realized they were behind us.
I examined the maps you painted inside my airframe.
You were trying to tell me you were lost
and you didn’t want to be another midair collision.

Jennifer repaired me shortly
after I crash-landed in the starflowers.
Crashed it again in the snow,
outside Murfreesboro,
and she wasn’t there that time.

If I had told the people who made this thing I was going to be reckless
with it, they probably would have bought a snow leopard, or a horsehead just to keep the conversation going.

But when they went ahead and made this life happen,
they rushed thinking he was going to be a
college boy, a frat boy, an intelligent mass of cells,
who flew over the mountains instead of into them.
But what my parents got was a little *******
who stirred up anthills, and stood up nice girls
and poured gasoline on the make believers
to prove the flames were real.

This letter was taken out of one world
and hurled into the next, with you, theoretically.
I know that sunflowers make wonderful goodbyes and some airplanes crash
and typewriters hurt when they write back.
His airframe was created in 1991.  
You should have known when you messed with the inside
it wouldn’t work the right way again.

I have had some things going on in my engine
that are not entirely fixable.
That is what makes us human. Our parts get better.
The problem is we turn gospels into information manuals.
And that is why I still end up at gasoline stations at 2 a.m.
searching for a bearing that says
“Follow me. I will take you where you will be happy.”

But we don’t get that, dear.
We get a paintbrush and a typewriter.
You told me I was wrong.
I told you
not to talk so loud.
Matthew Smith Jun 2015
Friendly, the German Shepherd,
was big and he had rashes,
now he's ashes.

Daisy growled, never howled,
had puppies with Shiloh
who died on the patio.

Angus, the Siamese cat
got lost in the rain,
was hit by a train.

Peter the dove lost his love,
when during a fight,
she went to her sister's house
and flew in bad weather,
straight into a propeller

now she's feathers.
Matthew Smith May 2015
On my sixteenth birthday,
my uncle gave me a balsa wood airplane,
or rather, the wood
that comes together to make one.

While I started out strong,
assembling most of the fuselage,
it would go unfinished
and stay a skeleton.

Most of its life
collected cobwebs.
My uncle drinks whiskey
in the pool at night.

I think of the airframe
still waiting to be put together,
waiting to fly
to the other side of this.
Matthew Smith May 2015
These are the moments when you stop
and think why you're not out there.
You know you, as a human being,
weren't meant to be in this cage
that has locked you up and sent you down
the throat of this monster that is made up
of empty wallets, musky interstate motel rooms,
and maybe,
if you're lucky,
an empty job that taught you more about yourself
than any public university ever could.

This is, God I'm sure of it, incredible.
And even though I never believed in the stuff,
if I could, I'd have given up long ago
and told my ma' that I'm taking off.
I'd release this heartache from my body
like doves, and let them run.
Matthew Smith Feb 2015
She is sleeping in her bed,
in her little house,
with fireplace and kitchen,
garden, and faucet.

These flowers on the walls
were not there before.
A lot of things have
appeared since
the last time I looked.
Matthew Smith Jan 2015
I want to sit in this
bathtub of warm water,
with cigarettes and puff
the smoke into the water spout.

The water will suicide
back down
and I will get out
to dry off.

Then I will go into the kitchen
and make tea.
Matthew Smith Dec 2014
This is a letter
to tell you that the wolves
in my dreams have devoured
the last piece of integrity I had.
I have taken the hot air balloon
out of my body to escape the feast.
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