you’re a handsome devil/
what’s your name?

almost eight years ago i started writing a diary that, this past february and march, when i was the stupidest i’ve ever been, i typed up & cut-and-pasted into a notebook so that i’d always have it, and i met a guy this past summer and for some reason, probably because it was the middle of the night and i was in the midst of this period in my life where i believed in an organic connection between all living things, or whatever, i let him read it (cover to cover) and judge me based on my past and pretend like he knew anything about me and i watched him try to convince me that my slight neurotic quirks are deep psychological problems when they are not, just because i used to be a little different, just because he was still hung up, and was a psych major, and later the man who fixed the holes in the office walls told me that english majors and psych majors do not belong together and i wondered where this handyman had been all summer, but aside from that i keep the diary beside my bed in case i ever need to remember that i am still the same and wonderful, i am too good for this, i dance alone and am special and i linger in doorways and get away with practically murder and i blog-post from my phone while i smoke cigarettes and i don’t give a fuck about anything.

but i don’t need reminders anymore, because the moon lit my entire bedroom on its own, and for the first time in too long i feel something unselfish.

an arm.

every living thing comes
full circle, and stops to eat
out of our garbage

obsessed about the frame
around the window
we took out all the nails, a pillow
for a plate of glass just like an arm,
for underneath my neck at night

the open hole for gardening,
for watching and unlocking
words we never said

underneath the moon
he breaks a bottle on his foot

i continue digging,
preparing for the dawn

later published in in/words magazine 11.1 (winter 2012).


i just had a terrible moment.

i would snap somebody’s neck for a cigarette.
realizing this was not the terrible moment.

and i had a bad walk. which is too bad, really, because i was kind of on a roll there for a little while. only incredible walks. i’ve been on a lot of walks lately. they’ve been really good for me. even if they weren’t i’d still think they were pretty fab. i’ve found myself dragging my feet at three in the morning just to make it over the bridge and back home again, night after night and i don’t mind. i’ve been taken to places that make me quiet and content, which i’m still just learning to value. i’ve been exhausted and lost but completely alert. i’ve been interested and silent and anxious and curious and afraid in the best ways and i haven’t actually noticed until tonight. space cadet.

when everything disappeared i expected something to appear out of nowhere for me, like an exchange. or an offer. in reality, i knew nothing was coming. that’s the only certainty i had. the nothing i expected showed up in the exact place i had expected it to never happen. it made me laugh out loud by myself. it happened on a long walk. i wasn’t alone but i wasn’t really not alone, either.

this is the kind of garbage i come up with in my head when i’m not smoking. which is why i had a bad walk and a terrible moment. i haven’t walked aimlessly like that, alone in the middle of the night, in unbearable pain, since may when everything was so different. i feel twitchy and neurotic absolutely and wonderful.

but at least i didn’t break a neck. and even better, i didn’t smoke a cigarette. i’m a bit of a troublemaker, but i’m not so bad.