though so many decades have passed, so far apart we’d grown
between love transmogrifying into hate and those sad letters
and phone calls and your face vanishing into a noose that
today name the gods
you at the end worshipped, if any, praise being
impossible for the devoutly miserable. And screw my church who’d
roast in Hell poor suffering
bastards like you, unable to bear the masks
of their own faces. With words you sought to shape
a world alternate to the one that dared
inscribe itself so ruthlessly across your eyes, for you
could not, could never
fully refute the actual or justify the sad heft of your body, earn
your rightful space or pay for the parcels of oxygen you
inherited. More than once you asked
that I breathe into your lungs like the soprano in the opera
I loved so my ghost might inhabit you and you ingest my belief
in your otherwise-only-probable soul. I wonder does your
death feel like failure to everybody who ever
loved you as if our collective cpr stopped
too soon, the defib paddles lost charge, the corpse
punished us by never sitting up. And forgive my conviction
that every suicide’s an asshole. There is a good reason I am not
God, for I would cruelly smite the self-smitten.
I just wanted to say ha-ha, despite
your best efforts you are every second
alive in a hard-gnawing way for all who breathed you deeply in,
each set of lungs, those rosy implanted wings, pink balloons.
We sigh you out into air and watch you rise like rain.
He asked me why I was so distant
and I said it was because of
anti-matter. It’s because I have
x-ray vision or think I do
and the skeletons drive past
in their invisible automobiles
and I am not scared,
I drink the full red grapes
right off the vine, the women
from Guangzhou are counting
all the fish massacred at four o’clock,
and somewhere in the night
God exists in his own mind,
counting the quarks left over
from all the revelations,
true or false. I pray to this space
that opens before me, wider
than my soul can carry.
And in the dark I dream
about nothing, I evolve
into orangutans, my mind wrapped
in the silence before words
before illogic. I am primitive
therefore, I don’t know the signals
for love, I refuse the dress code,
I check in when I want to,
I have an open ticket.
Inside out the world makes sense
but only if you don’t live in it,
the spoons bending in the smallness
of non-space, language useless,
desire absurd. You say evil
and I say no, you say in emptiness
is where you’ll find it and I say
x is not x, my anger is for
all of you, all the self-delusion.
It is not pity, it is real, it cuts me
straight through. I can see behind
the glass. I can stick my hand in
and not feel a thing.
I can fly over the broken world
and never touch ground.
You and your photographs of boats;
that repeated metaphor for departure,
or simply the possibility of a voyage?
What you cannot tell me, you tell me
with a vessel and its single passenger,
eyes fixed on some skylit conclusion.
Set apart and starkly upon a canvas
of tractable waves, brought to still
by the trigger-click of your camera,
like the sound a key makes when it
releases the lock. Your heart became
that lock; these images are how you have
always articulated distance, a withdrawal.
Darling, there are just as many ways
of saying goodbye as there are ways
of letting you go. The boat is narrow
like the width of my heart after
impossible loss, cruel resignation;
this heart you ride in. Love, if this is how
you choose to leave me, let me let you.
You are running away from everyone
who loves you,
from your family,
from old lovers, from friends.
They run after you with accumulations
of a former life, copper earrings,
plates of noodles, banners
of many lost revolutions.
You love to say the trees are naked now
because it never happens
in your country. This is a mystery
from which you will never
recover. And yes, the trees are naked now,
everything that still breathes in them
lies silent and stark
and waiting. You love October most
of all, how there is no word
for so much splendor.
This, too, is a source
of consolation. Between you and memory
everything is water. Names of the dead,
or saints, or history.
There is a realm in which
—no, forget, it,
it’s still too early to make anyone understand.
A man drives a stake
through his own heart
and afterwards the opposite of nostalgia
begins to make sense: he stops raking the leaves
and the leaves take over
and again he has learned
to let go.
In the miles from your headboard
to your balcony doors
I have spent an entire morning
tracing the sound of you arriving home
across your ceiling.
There is no silence like yours.
It shakes through me
like the blessing of a new apartment;
the anticipation of surviving the night
to discover you in the morning.
In the morning
I watch God paint with his left hand
across an empty sky.
I count seven hundred fish scales
shivering in the breeze,
shaking out my old names,
calling you back to sleep.
They sound like a tired kitchen floor,
this choir, this praise under our feet.
They sound like your chest –
an acre of flight –
crashing into my hands,
we’re lost, we’re lost,
we’re lost again at sea.
As soon as he said don’t look down, I look down, teetering on the edge of an airplane ledge 9,000 feet up in the sky. He counts down to 1 and my body plummets towards the earth. I wonder what that shapes of the clouds I am breaking through look like while I tell myself to open my eyes. Open your eyes, Olivia, open them. And in the second I finally did there are pictures of me smiling, falling, inside I’m screaming with delight- total and utter loss of control.
jump out of a plane(THIS SUNDAY!!) tattoo1/26 & 9/26 go to Europe: Bucharest & Paris(& it happened so perfectly) *bonus points for an unplanned trip to London, too.
- go to Nashville, TN
watch my sister get married (¬ sob like a baby) find something I like enough to keep(that’s you, sf)
- lose 10lbs/get tone (a lil bit, thank you sf hills)
read & write at least 1hr a day cut my hair move to NYC for 1 month(west coast clients on east coast time, not possible) volunteer
- not lose my wallet
& phone(of course I lose my brand new/expensive wallet)
- ride a horse
….to be continued
During all that I moved to San Francisco, got a promotion, learned how to say goodbye with my whole body.
2 months left of 2012, there’s still time for the rest.