My Favourite Book is the Virgin Suicides

29 October 2020

Dear ______ 

Sometimes I don’t lay naked
beneath the sheets,
                  and you? Sometimes I drink too
much, and lay naked beneath the sheets and
forgot time Has passed,
        my grief fermenting like an old cabbage, growing its
own shrunken heads behind a display case. 

Didn’t know you as a kid, but saw you
piss the bed anyway.
                     Behind the glass Fear is a pigeon
spiked on a metronome An Old hand
      conducting over a shallow dish
of saliva 

Over the phone you said you
                  couldn’t move for hours, the liquid was
                                amber preserve,
our strange and viscous
to Manliness, to the enormous landscape we
                                                                    of our own bodies. 

First time we met you said
knew already, something about how easy I got in cars,
how I could respond to any name and
                          thinking back to the night the sky

opened its wet mouth and swallowed me,
I heard someone
behind the trees whimpering

                                                                    Terror I
said, is a tiny milk dispersing on our tongues,
                  so might we hope
only to rest a while
                                    before we
let our children drink too. 

It is true then, that we waited
all summer, in the curled ribcage
of a deer
                       halfway between your house and mine
practising our smiles. 

                                                          In the winter we
made love on a pile of burning roses
                                                                        in my parents garage,
like an American beauty sequel, where all the girls save each other
and all the Dads waste their anger
                                                    into walls, into old crockery. 

It is true that we did many things, to wait.
Even fell in love ,
                                  in unwanted re-enactment.
Two friends ,
                                   in a toyota in the bushes
with no underwear sucking the old man’s fat
thumb, and kissing each other’s thighs,
                                         the spit trailing like a spider’s webs of
unlearning across our bodies. And when we were done we
loaded the rest of the condoms with the limited cargo of our
mouths, and released them
            like missiles
                                                                       across the playground 

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