Days pass like perfume into the air.
Fear eats at you like a dog. There’s
a dog in the neighbor’s yard. You listen
as the bus comes and goes and comes
and goes. You call this: keeping time.
There was once a harbor, in your childhood,
the harbor kept expensive boats
and strange animals. Occasionally
a big fish, a seal, a dolphin. There was nothing
safe about the harbor, though you were
told it was so. When you entered the
harbor it felt like anything, anything
at all, could hurt you. And then
you felt like that all the time. There’s a noise
in the other room. There is always
something that should not be, being,
being and won’t be stopped.
In the days that followed many words were
said. You had to have known. You had to
have known. You enter a stranger’s house
per their instructions. You get into bed.
Oblivion. A bed is like a harbor. Anything
can happen. Anything can hurt you. If you
want to be hurt? You can wear your
pain like a badge upon your shoulder.
If you want to be hurt you can live
through anything. What do you mean?
A voice is asking, is asking everyday.
I don’t mean anything, I don’t mean
anything by it. You’re almost shouting.
The truth so close to your lips. You take notes:
blue armchair, dripping faucet, three cans
on the coffee table, blue sheets, blue
blankets, blue coat. You wish to wear
oblivion like a coat. You don’t mean anything,
the voice says back, almost laughing now.
In the morning the snow is dust, snow dust.
In the morning there is a lone body
on the sidewalk. The body is walking
towards you. The streetlights casting a
weak glow. Dawn sputtering. Daylight
grizzling above the pines. The body
moves like it is scared of you. You stay
very still like you’re scared too. You can
taste wine from last night still on your
breath. You brush snow from your windows.
Slowly. You’re touching everything slowly.
Your hands are numbing, but you don’t stop.
In the car the heat feels good. The heat
feels good in the morning. Where am
I going? Last night, you let her do what
she wanted. What she wanted became
what you wanted. There’s a bruise on
your body. You feel it against your shirt.
There’s a bruise on your body like a pool.
Inside the bruise you put the memory. It
wades in and never comes out.