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Sep 2012
I was in the backseat of a 1988 Prelude
listening to Conor's sonnets and etudes,
moving my tongue in uncomfortable loneliness
because your passenger seat was occupied and
I couldn't decide if you were quiet or shy.
I hadn't met you yet.

Hennepin was good to us at 2AM and
gave us space to sip uncommon grounds
in the typically uncommon Uptown.
I saw bright eyes in your words
and unrecognized yellow birds.

I remember things and I don't know why.
I remember the paper mache lady on Nicollet and
I remember that you sang about how it's neat that we all own guns and
I remember wishing that I was born on Independence Day and
I remember walking past empty bookshelves at the end of the day and
I remember remembering when they were stocked and
I remember loving the way we talked
about Huxley.

and it's a year or so later and I'm your passenger
and the streets are still full of images and hidden messages
and faces with whiskers.
"I saved a cat from a tree once,"
and my cackle secured the shackles on my ankles that
I picked out myself off the mannequin.

and it's always just us because Vic is always
with Lucy, Molly, and Mary Jane and
they're having dreams and hearing secret frequencies
(like the ones you pointed out to me)
and doing drugs and discovering Christianity
and decorating themselves with ashes and ashes with Ashley.

and the people I used to know from St. Paul
are working and growing small and
trippin' and slippin' and sippin' gravy,
but we're still sippin' uncommon grounds
and we're all still living in these twin towns.
But none of them are wearing the matching heavy crowns
that you and I picked out ourselves off the mannequins.
They're the same shade of gold as the birds in your words and
they're the same shade of gold as the shackles on our shins
that mold our golden grins
that we had our faces when you said,
"This is the world where dreams come true, right?"

and we're confirmed by a blinding white light that shows through
the windows of the theater in Bryant-Lake Bowl that compliments us
like you compliment me, like I compliment your skinny tie
(the one that makes me want to die.)
But we can't die because this city doesn't have any double-decker buses
or any other us-es.

and I watch you program lazers into my heart
and I think;
What a beautiful old man
What a beautiful growing boy
What a beautiful perfect cylops
with an eye of my color green to shower me in scenic joy.

and as we dance to the records we bought from Minneapolis antique shops,
I look into the eye of my cyclops from a centimeter above the ground
and realize that this is the dream where the world comes true.
"Write a New York style poem about Minnesota."
"Okay, professor."
Peyton Leigh Stille
Written by
Peyton Leigh Stille  Minneapolis
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