You Can Almost Touch It
When picture frames are unimpressed with everything they’ve seen
happen in the water, it is time to start drafting blueprints of the ineffable.
Little blue ideas, little blue loves. It’s all transportable. It’s all
unattainable. Today my neck is longer than usual which means I am
failing to see what is in front of me. The geese are ample, talking to
the windowsills about the shortage of pies saying I’d kill for an apple. I’d
kill for a light bulb to hover above my head so the neighbor would
know I was thinking about the best way to steal his life. These are the
pink newborn years; everything wrinkled and aching to unfurl. When
you’re done defining the year by how many people haven’t drowned,
come to the lake with me and see what god was talking about with all
his walking on water gab. There are miracles like embarrassed children
waiting for us to tell them they are brave. If you take a picture of the
miracle happening, the image will be historically resonant. The way a
Lite-Brite is today’s tabletop monument of happiness.
I could have chosen to die in the mountains but I was busy imagining
a perfect beginning. Tornadoes were regular visitors, always breaking
the china without apology. I am a woman when I drink anything out
of a teacup. I am trying to be the perfect floral dress. When I find a
rip in the fabric, the gods hand me safety pins and I sink at how
domestic they’ve become. You walked away after hearing too many
stories about the fortune of grey skies and I tried to catch you like a
disease meant for the poor flowers of the earth. Don’t keep giving me
lightning as a threat. I’ve driven on miles of mountain roads with two
wheels on the ground. I was sleeping the whole time. Coming this
close to death is what blue glaciers are always lecturing me against.
Enough with the blazer full of moths. I always see the same thing in
ink blots; you and me treating each other like holy shadows, wishing
for the same black knife to tell us how it ends.
You, dog’s wet nose. You, hard black eye. We are weaving in and out
of what might be an aorta, what might be the heart’s congested highway.
This road-trip we’ve agreed to take blind makes electronic maps curl.
We can’t stop napping behind the wheel. Country, your landscape is an
unmentionable. The way I look at you undressing in the hotel room is
unconstitutional. You, disconnected telephone. Remember when
thought bubbles were only for cartoons. What happens now, when I
can see how whitely you don’t dream of me. What do I do when my
thought bubble for you is empty. There are cartons of milk stacking up
on the stoop. How many animals can we seduce with the smell of
something dying. How much of the smell will not be us. You, cowl
neck. You, coward. You, wreck. We’ve been driving years towards the
same impossible flat line. We’ve been robbing the pincushion of its
tender moments. I talked through dinner about the way certain animals
hate the cold. You, dumb button. You, drunk alphabet. When I tell
you about something dying, I’m reading from the very middle of myself.
Whether we crash the car or make it up the icy mountain, you are trying
to fold the map into a shape it cannot make, you are licking your chops
for a game of charades. When I guess hungry, killer, wolf you say yes and
no to all three. At the intersection of memory and the future, you are
MEGHAN PRIVITELLO is a poet living in NJ where she has completed her first manuscript, A New Language for Falling out of Love. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Sixth Finch, The New Megaphone, Redivider, Barn Owl Review, Bat City Review, Salt Hill, Columbia Poetry Review, Linebreak, Quarterly West, Best New Poets 2012 and elsewhere. You can follow her on twitter @meghanpriv.