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Natalie Jane Jul 2013
It smells like my grandmother's house in here.
Like lazy Saturdays, of dripping sweat, of climbing trees, of building Lincoln Log houses for ants or Deathstars of Legos but I spread my legs and that smell of--regret is not the word, nor is shame--I feel neither--but of came, of stale, cold air and stiff comforters on top a bed at the Best Western--A living proof of how you've changed. After you finish and inhale and burst your exhausted, satisfied breath, I sweetly kiss you--your neck, your jawline, your cheeks, your forehead, your eyelids. You hold us in and sleep as if a few drinks are enough to forgive. I tell you to slow down because you owe me about 5 years to make up for lost time. You slip your tongue down as if I had not broken your heart. But a man learns, and that's our biggest difference--man and woman, you and I--you've grown cold and moved on to content loneliness and betterness than to give a girl who's hurt you a second chance.
Me--I've grown to let the warmth run over you, like a hot glass of water from a motel room sink after an ******. Past content, loneliness and betterness than to obsess about a boy grown sour from a girl too hurt to not want to take back the past.
We check in for the night to "make up for lost time."
We check out.
What's a girl to do?
Other than watch you sleep so still like you used to next to me, even with still blankets, it's cold. Hold me?
We walk out to our cars on a hot, departing Fourth of July.
I coax you into closing your lips over mine before you leave, but the key is already turned in. We already ate our free breakfast, ******, scratched, bruised.
You've already checked out, so
what's a girl to do now?
What's a girl to do?
I cannot forget Whitman's words: "We were together, I forget the rest."
Vonnegut's epitaph: "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."
"Every time I kiss you
After a long separation
I feel
I am putting a hurried love letter
In a red mailbox"

I feel like a one night stanza written by you who is more beautiful and unforgiving than words on a page
I am not drinking quickly enough--or enough, despite the speed
Bukowski's poem:
weary to the bone,
dancing in the dark with the
the Suicide Kid gone
Ah! the swift summers
over and gone
Is that death
stalking me
No, it's only my cat,
my dear sweet Ambien Walrus has abandoned me in reality among the living. So blissful breaks, only a stomach churning in the minutes passing of a long night.
No worries, Mr. Walrus. I'd abandon me too. Only drinking, imagined aliens, crying and words here--words to document your blessed coming and mournful going into the wee hours of the unforgiving days. There is no glory in the mornings. I watch for you as I watch the hours pass. No bliss in the minutes stretched over the midnight break. Only words, no blessing, no grace, to pass the heavy nagging of the night. Will I see you again?
"We were together, I forget the rest."
What's a girl to do?
oh yeah, drink more. Fingers crossed.
What more can a girl do, really?
take another drink before the liquor runs out.
I know this letter is getting out of hand
hear me out for all the words you never had to hear. I promise I'll throw in a joke somewhere.
I sneak outside for a cigarette and watch an armadillo rummage closer to me while I search for another poem to make me feel better, another poem for this letter to you I will never send but maybe, if the situation's right, to read to you on some drunken night. I promised you a joke, but now, I giggle at my own feelings. Maybe you will too. I hope you laugh too--At my hands so aching, at my torn apart ******, at my silly feelings and words to help me forget a reminiscing night of you pushing my hair from my face so you can see my eyes when I purse my lips down below.
here's your joke, I suppose.
This one's on me.
"At 23, the best of my life is over and its bitters double...I am sick at heart...I have outlived all my appetites and most of my vanities."
Byron knew the futility of joy in little things. In my quest to overcome a trivial ache, I have re-imagined a familiar road to uncertainty, instability, and insanity.
How great thou art!
Give me sleep and less slipping into this place of comfortable communion with the illnesses of my mind.
Of the body of Christ.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the words and I shall be* sane.
Like Lazarus from the grave:
"This is not what I meant, at all."
"That is not it, at all."

God bless the blue.
What else is a girl to do?
From the wards, I smell the mourned words of a place that I called home--this imaginary place that we must reinvent ourselves. Maybe mine is on Corporate Woods Drive, and all this--this is just a yellow brick road with little munchkins sweetly singing, follow it back home. I'll skip in a pretty dress with my friends and my babies to smell the grey walls and be asked of safety. I get lost every once in awhile but the Cheshire Cat asks, "where do you want to go?"
"I want to go home," I answer.
"Then," says the cat, "it doesn't matter."
"I'm afraid I can't explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?"
"I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, 'Who in the world am I?' Ah! that's the great puzzle!"
Natalie Jane Jun 2013
When you said you didn't like my poem you added,
"Now you know how I feel when I show someone my socks."

But do your wear your socks like I wear my soul?

threaded and
much like cliches and silly love poems.

I can't buy a new one at Wal Mart.
I can only live with one pair
until one stops pumping
on to the last thread,
with more conviction than the rushed mornings, the warming by the fireplace, the ode by Neruda, the searching for
mismatched heart and soul,
cheaper and uglier than a tie.

It's not like I could just put on a pair of white ankle highs and call it awesome.
Natalie Jane Jun 2013
For Dr. Harry Braeuer

The day is mercifully warm when we come to visit you on Christmas.
All is calm o’er the city by the gulf; the salt in the air is sweetly gleaming.
All is bright with glowing hearts by his cradle we stand.

I play with a kitten that looks like Lily because I cower from the realities of your dying mind:
Of silent and holy nights;
Of sins and errors pining;
Of falling on your knees;
Of demanding to know what you’ve done to deserve the larghissimo dying from a disease that makes you forget the intricacies of Chopin’s Nocturnes or your daughters’ names.

You hold your face in your hand and study the eggshell white tile while Michael plays Clair De Lune.
Oh, hear the angel voices!
As if every flowing wave of moonlight of Debussy would cease the decrescendo of life or bring the lucid dawn of redeeming grace.

And after the final note pianissimo, you try so hard to rise from your wheelchair to give your grandson a loving ovation.
You clap your wrinkled and meticulous hands that cannot forget what it is like to cut open the mortal
—to bury the dead.

But please don’t get up, Dr. Braeuer.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices.
Stay warm in your bed.
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Bravo, my sweet grandfather!
Oh, night divine!
Lay down your sweet head.
Oh, night! Oh, holy night!*
Enjoy the tender music instead.
Natalie Jane Jun 2013
I am no Jack Kerouac, but I do share his reincarnated cat. I wish to be on the road, but I do not have it in me to leave her alone. And she’s such a ***** during long car rides. But, I can watch her on catnip instead and see her colorful journey along those alleyways and back stages and watch her meet those saturated characters so she’ll come back down to write a book about how those American roads changed her life. And until she dies, snuggled up in my arms, fur on my pajamas, she’ll say, Oh **** yeah, that was the life!
Or rather,
Natalie Jane Jun 2013
I miss you so much.

I miss the way the skin of your back felt when I scratched it.
I miss the way you made me feel,
The way you make me feel when I think about you twitching before falling asleep.
I giggle,
the simplicity of the yearning weight on my chest. Like I'm fighting for every second of the breath that I hold,
Like I am about to fall off the flat pre-humanistic Earth of a world that
never existed like it used to with

But now I can't feel anything.

So I play game after game solitaire just to fill the days without you.
It really is a losing game.
The odds are against me.
And so I reset my record
because the probability of winning is smaller with every hand,
because I'm smart enough to know, that's the way statistics work.

But I have to ask,

Does your back itch like a phantom limb?

My fingernails still crawl for your skin.
And for the crunch and cringe of sand
in my mouth after you've played too many hours of volleyball and it is soaked in your hair.
I want to feel the blisters of your sunburned back
and still believe with my whole heart that it is
perfect and peeling
under my nails.

I will take your flaws, I said.

Your ****** salsa is delicious, I said.

I hope you feel that burn
of jalapeños when you forget to
wash your hands.

I want you to know that I am pulling the painfully heavy yoke of the sweaty memories on my bed sheets.
Of ice melting in the grass.

I want you to know that I made a list of things that I absolutely hate about you,
but I still feel the warmth of that perfect week when you were fevered and deliriously content with me.

When I sit on the porch, I think I can hear your long board on the sharp asphalt. Like you're rounding the corner,
the cacophony
of your snoring over the
unbound bonding.

I remember how you liked that word. See?

I want you to know that when I miss you this badly,
I imagine you sleeping on that park bench in France and that pain turns bittersweet under the syntax of stars in a distant country.

And I will probably still send you this poem because I want you
to tell me that I am a good poet, because you never told me enough.

And then I want you to read it
again and again.

I want to keep THIS connection
because I believe in words
more than I ever believed in us.

I want that sentence to leave you scratching your head.
Like I just called your bluff.

I still laugh at your jokes.
And then tell myself that I never met you.
I reset my statistics until I have the upper-hand.

Because I know that this too shall pass,
but you need to know that I still look out my window when a car passes and hope that you may suddenly awaken to a knock knock at your front door.

I said that I was falling.
But I have not built enough callous on my heels from our walks to the hot tub in Spring's early light.

I want you to feel this scar
you failed to talk me out of inflicting.
What it's like to feel guilty.
What it's like to feel its tickling weight.

I don't want your callous.
I want to feel
my feet on the ground of an earth that's round
and realistic.
But most of all, I want to thank you for showing me that I still got this.
That I still have words, even if
I don't have you.

But what I wanted to say
most is
Natalie Jane Jun 2013
“What of ‘The Bullet’?”
I ask my mother,
“is it underwater
falling apart,
wood unhinged nail by nail?”

It rots underwater,
more terrified than I of the crashing waves upon the boardwalk.
Natalie Jane Jun 2013
For America
For Bin Laden
and for Jonathan C.’re welcome.*

"As ye deal with my contemners,
so with you my grace shall
Let the hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”
-Genesis 3:15

Thro’ the perilous fight
How we forget flesh and bone
that rot in history’s unmarked grave
in oceans white with foam.

A woman weeps over his body
so undeserving of the dead.
But evil is not snuffed out
by a bullet to the head.

An eye for an eye is blind
Oh say can you see?
As He died to make men holy,
let us die to make men free.

May God bless America.
Justice has been done.
Glory, glory hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
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