There was a wall there—tile, plaster, siding—I was sitting in the bathtub with my knees at my chest and I
was watching water from the tap
Drip, spit onto my high-tops, the color of apple-candy and a receptionist's nails. There
was a wall there, with my ear pressed to it
The way the chainsaws and their thrashing noises hollered, the men—like they were bellowing at
me, through this wall between us, such a thin and paper thing. They were cutting down our tree.
(later, we counted its rings. maybe one-hundred-and-ten? The axis
is so huge and dark and soft like a rancid peach, surface layers sliding, slime)
With pauses came a dreadful silence, a stuttered breath
and the ground would shiver and bruise as another goliath limb
I couldn't cry, but I'd watch the water pooling
and the stripes of light along the floor.
There was blood on the leg of my jeans.
"rotten to the core"
is a cliché I think the world largely needs to forget;
decomposition, in my opinion, starts from the inside, because if humans
are one thing, we are dishonest in our pulchritude—
I've got alcohol and apologies wedged between my teeth
And you embedded in my nails
I would weep but I'm not drunk enough
I could die but I'm not strong enough
How did you sweet-talk my love into loving you
And how did you breathe your golden girl into my sheets?
And our friendship, ever new, a vast and lovely thing, how it tumbled
when I saw that it was rancid and how the world shivered and bruised—
Six cups of coffee
And Prufrock—and gin—
and a razor blade.
I don't feel better and I don't know at all,
But maybe someday I can cry.