The steps are wet but I sit down anyway,
listening to the air conditioners whir and crackle in the night.
A silent moped glides past. A woman sneezes in the distance.
The air pools around me as I watch an empty bottle
roll toward the curb. It rained recently.
I watch droplets kiss the edge of bricks,
magnifying the vibrating orange
of street lamp into a small bead
and then dribbling down the sidewalk.
I think of the first time I was alone with you,
how we raced through the city like a snake of
vanishing ink on a map, to the water.
When we arrived, I looked out at the blurry
gray-green shoreline across the bay,
imagined the changing winds
in the hollow of the sky above me.
You took me apart all afternoon
with your diamond blue eyes,
and I could see an army of things to come
rolling over inside of you.
I didn’t know what they were and I still don’t.
Sharp wind eventually gave way to dusk and we stayed
in the marsh until midnight, too busy taking gulps
of each other to care for the insects doing the same.
I was covered in red welts for weeks.
An issue that night arose, though.
To know someone’s presence is to be aware of their absence.
This has been a problem for me.
The whisper of morning is starting to leak from every shadow
of my block, corners rustle.
The sky purples like
a handle being turned slowly over and over.
It’s been a long evening on the stoop,
but when I sleep I dream of the sun
and when I wake, I do the same.
~Cat Leth [source]
Helpless (2005) (k.d. lang)
Sol Invictus (2014) (Nicole Guinta)
He took her hand, brought it out from beneath the covers, up to his mouth, and kissed it. ‘Everything’s a joke with you,’ he said.
'Nothing's a joke with me. It just all comes out like one.'
~Lorrie Moore [buy]
I Melt with You (1982) (Modern English)