Darling I must say that I’m
quite surprised to see you here.
Not that it’s unlike you to show up unannounced,
and track mud throughout my living room,
even though I just had the carpet redone.
But how can I yell at you while
you’re sitting here
coughing up bits and pieces of broken piano keys and tainted silver?
I would ask how they got inside you in the first place,
but I won’t
because I don’t think I would very much like the answer.
But you’re here, on my couch,
making a mess of things just like I taught you how,
and the kettle hasn’t begun to scream yet,
so let’s talk.
That is what you came here to do isn’t it?
Well maybe I don’t want to talk.
Did you ever even consider that?
Maybe I don’t want to think about January anymore.
After all these years,
after all these frost bitten cheeks and lost sunglasses and nails bitten down to the quick,
maybe I want to get out of this car.
but I can’t very well tell you that now can I?
No, I can’t.
Don’t worry about the bruises on the wall or the shadow in the corner.
You’re not even looking.
How are you?
Nice weather we’ve been having.
except the air is always so cold that there’s ice in my lungs and it
never stops being Tuesday.
Don’t just look at me, say something. Or if you won’t, then at least build a fire.
No, I’ll do it.
Go lay down,
there’s a space in my bed next to Nostalgia that’s
probably still warm.
Just throw the book on the floor.
I can put it away if it means you’ll stay awhile.
Turn the heat down, turn the lights off
this is all just temporary.
We don’t have to talk about the car crash or the window or what’s buried in that yard.
Focus only on my skin now.
We can think about that night in the pool later,
when you’ve gone home again and turned up the music so loud that you can’t hear the gunshots.
I have to say that I’m quite
and slightly offended by your
lack of attention to detail.
Don’t you remember
when you were eight years old,
all filled with soda pop and sidewalk chalk,
and you won that fish at the state fair for something silly
like knocking over three milk bottles stacked on each other with
four tries and a baseball.
Who the hell needs four tries for that?
But you won the fish and made it a home
in a small glass bowl set on top
of your nightstand.
Four days later while you were at school your mom discovered it floating belly up,
flushed it down the toilet and rushed out of the house
coming back twenty minutes later with a fish similar enough to keep you from noticing
that anything had changed at all.
I’ll keep that in it’s wooden box at the back of my closet,
Let you keep your ignorance.
Let you keep your bliss.
And I will sit quietly in the backseat
of your car while you drive,
and watch all the different girls
get in and out of the passenger seat.
But I will never buckle my seatbelt,
and always keep the door unlocked
just to see if it will scare you enough to turn around.