Why so hard
to give up
But the safe
world my will
this soul could
not find breath
in. He brought
as if to
teach you how
you must live
short of breath.
Still now crave
from Metaphysical Dog
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The Temptation of St. Anthony, Fernand Khnopff, 1883
You will never be let down by anyone
more than you will be let down
by the one you love most in the world
it’s how gravity works
it’s why they call it “falling”
it’s why the truth is harder to tell
you have more to lose
but you can choose to bury your past
in the garden
beside the tulips
until it’s so alive
it lets go
and you belong to yourself
When you belong to yourself again
is not a tidy grave
It is a ready loyal knight kneeling before your royal heart
Call in your royal heart
Tell it bravery cannot be measured by a lack of fear
It takes guts to tremble
It takes so much tremble to love
Every first date is a fucking earth quake
Sweetheart, on our first date
I showed off all my therapy
I flaunted the couch
Where I finally sweat out my history
Pulled out the photo album from the last time I wore a lie to the school dance
I smiled and said “that was never my style
Look how fixed I am
Look how there’s no more drywall on my fist
Look at the stilts I’ve carved for my short temper
Look how my wrist is not something I have to hide” I said
Well I was hiding it
The telephone pole still down from the storm
By our third date I had fixed the line
I said listen,
I have a hard time
I mean I cry as often as most people pee and I don’t shut the door behind me
I’ll be up in your face screaming “SEATTLE IS TOO RAINY SEATTLE IS TOO RAINY
I’M NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO LIVE HERE.”
I sobbed on our fourth date
I can’t live here
In my body, I mean
I can’t live in my body all the time it feels too much
So if I ever feel far away know I am not gone
I am just underneath my grief
Adjusting the dial on my radio face so I can take this life with all
of it’s love and all of it’s loss
See I already know that you are the place where I am finally going to
sing without any static meaning
I’m never gonna wait
that extra twenty minutes
to text you back,
and I’m never gonna play
hard to get
when I know your life
has been hard enough already.
When we all know everyone’s life
has been hard enough already
it’s hard to watch
the game we make of love,
like everyone’s playing checkers
with their scars,
whenever they get out
without a broken heart.
Just to be clear
I don’t want to get out
without a broken heart.
I intend to leave this life
there’s gonna have to be
a thousand separate heavens
for all of my separate parts
And none of those parts are going to be wearing the romance from the
overpriced vintage rack
That is to say I am not going to get a single speed bike if I can’t
make it up the hill
I know exactly how many gears I’m going to need to love you well
And none of them look hip at the hot coffee shop
They all have God saying “good job you’re finally not full of bullshit”
You finally met someone who’s going to flatten your knee caps into
Baby, throw me
Throw me as far as I can go
I don’t want to leave this life without ever having come home
And I want to come home to you
I can figure out the rain
My eyes can’t get enough of the trees—/they’re so hopeful, so green.
What does it mean to be so sick
with want that you create rituals
which lead nowhere? Only to be
human, I think, and less ok
than animals. I don’t want
to be human anymore
so I have covered the mirrors
in blankets. You returned to me
but never uncovered them.
Odilon Redon - The Black Torches,1889.
“Advertisement for the Mountain”
There are two versions of every life.
In the first one, you get a mother, a father,
your very own room.
You learn to walk, which is only done by walking.
You learn the past tense of have, which is hunger.
You learn to ask almost anything
is to ask it to be over,
as when the lover asks the other
“Are you sleeping? Are you beginning
to go away?”
(And whether or not you learn it, life does not penetrate
more than five miles above the earth
or reach more than three miles beneath the sea.
Life is eight miles long.
You could walk it, and be there before sundown.
Or swim it, or fall it, or crawl it.)
The second is told from the point
of view of the sky.
You’d still/stay up all night in agony over the alchemical/substance of the soul.
The Letter, Christopher Thompson.