Like the car you dumped at the junk yard, you left me an empty shell of what I once was.
You grabbed your suitcase and emptied all of me into it as soon as you found a vessel more flashy to carry your soul.
My tires weren't brand new but my tread still hugged your road with great traction.
My speakers crackle with age but I still played your favorites at your request.
I have rust and some dents, but my glass was clear enough for you to see the path ahead.
I may idle rough, and my exhaust is loud when you test my pedals with force, but I could've gotten you where you wanted to go.
You partially lifted my decals, left the burnt-out air freshener dangling, dancing on the mirror, and the lighter you lost is still in my pocket.
But I have a full tank of gas and someone new's got the key.
In this foreign city there are no camouflaged men.
Too soon I am returning to the land of camo hats,
work boots that track mud over
my heart, little white carpet.
In Vermont, you either blend in with the mountains
or look like you’ve just walked in from shooting Bambi’s mom.
We smell like autumn leaves and fresh air -
embodied natural sugar.
Pale, like the clouds in my coffee.
We brave the cold and enjoy the thaw,
melting all through August.
That’s when the river is ripe for skinny dipping.
At night we hear the rush, flow, rush
of water someplace.
All we hear are tree frogs, and both sides of the pillow
are always cold.
We like sweet, chill, crisp:
passed among friends
like the flu.
Our words flow sweeter
fueled by gasoline rainbows
like 2 a.m. speeding
and we’ll laugh too
even if we didn’t get the joke.
It just feels good.
And! I almost forgot tire swings,
our barefeet on ripped trampolines;
those screen doors our mothers always told us not to slam,
and citronella candles on front porch coffee tables;
that one white plate with pink/green framing vines
all our grandmas had;
eating rhubarb pie with plastic forks;
wiping our hands on our jeans.
Never afraid to get a little Earth on us.
It’s the soil we started from,
the dirt beneath our fingernails,
the mud across my heart, little white carpet.
When your heart is the ocean
it feels like every tide is ready to break,
bloom bruises along the coastline
and send tsunamis through my veins.
There’s so many secrets in my chest
that it hurts to breathe sometimes,
I choke on all that hurt, and I need more
than the salt in my lungs.
Truth be told, it’s lonely on the edge
where everything is green and
you’re just another shade of blue,
so ready to destroy (but not
in the way they want you to).
Friendship has been fickle
Bonds that last become part of our being
Become our complexity
Changes who we are
I have had the luck of a few of those bonds
But so many are fickle
Friends move , you disagree or lose touch
I have a new friendship, I hope it is not fickle
I hope he becomes a part of my being
Entwined in my complexity
Accepted by those who are already entwined
Without untangling anything vital
I saw Stewart and Maud under a locust tree in Kensington market.
They had new bicycles. She leaned her sweaty, curly head on his bicep.
They had baguettes, flowers, asparagus and apples from the farm booths in their packs,
Buzet and Minervois from the liquor store, library books. They had life-loving things.
He says that for him this new life is instead of being an artist in Paris:
Backpacks, bicycles, the look of young lovers. The little possessions
That don't feel like a car or a house. They are wearing bright white t shirts
And denim overalls. His children are confused. They have little money.
He joined the many who have refused to be punished for a mistake.
My friend Stewart lives with a university student.
You get to their Annex apartment up iron stairs bolted to the
Outside of a building of old brick coloured like a driftwood campfire. The bed's iron.
She's been an adult for seven years. Iron, bricks, flowers, white iron bed,
Stewart has the skills to make it good, he's done this before, made the Muskoka
Chairs, the harvest tables, and sold them, repaired window frames and doors,
Advertised in supermarkets. He likes to breathe, to drink water, to cut wood and dress it,
To study, to read, to live well with a woman, to write in the evening, to make life like art.
Paul Anthony Hutchinson
copyright Paul Anthony Hutchinson
I know that everything has changed;
apart from my name,
nothing much is the same.
Now I wonder if awareness
is equal to happiness,
moments stayed longer in my mind
when they were an inhale
I didn't bother to memorize.
Now I'm a museum
filled with stains
from all the different kinds
now I'm dipped in paint,
dipped in so many colours,
aiming to complete
a thousand pictures,
not content with just one.
Now I'm confusing
hunger for love,
and my heart has lost
my ribs are its cage,
one my wild heart won't escape.
And now that I've walked
a road filled with scars,
instead of tears,
I'd like to swallow the stars.