I taste acid on my throat even from the watered-down coffee
Of the dining center–my own from the shop makes me vomit
After over a year, thus comes the nausea of settling.
And I am still here until December comes.
The handsome men across the way run invisible plays
With a football in the courtyard yelling at one another
Something in jest with their grinning statures.
They come towards the center and dance, it seems.
It’s six-thirty-eight as the sun threads itself against the horizon,
Great membranes of blue and orange entwine the sky rusted vapors
Spool again as they have for the past several days
As autumn gets on by.
I write this from a highrise in the Village, though I imagined myself
Rested within the triangle of oaks in the first tease of dying leaves
Laughing at something E said or done earlier and nipping chicory
Root tea from the cast-iron pot–I imagine many things.
The last letter I sent went unanswered, though I know you read it.
I want to say so much has changed since the last one, but how strange
Knowing that nothing is as different–there are no stories, or rumours,
No sicknesses, or gradual ascensions into megolomanic bullshit.
I haven’t shaved in weeks and, oh, if you could see me know
With this modest beard thrown across me as dirt on cracked pavement.
You can still call me Burns, but they are trimmed now yet gnarl
Into whatever is this growth–you are still Beard to me.
Remember on the balcony overlooking the parking lot that January
As you smoked your gas-station cigarette and I sober off my ass
In the darkness shared with you my fears and love and etc,
And you said you hated yourself more than anything in the world?
So many things stay the same, and so many things come undone.
It’s haunting walking around at night wishing I were elsewhere
And knowing I’d still feel like a hollow man–the stagnant rot
And indecisive teeth peeling on the walls around me.
There is someone else now, and if the first thing in your mind
Is a repetition of everything I ever said about her–and you know
Which her I mean–for all I know it’s different this time.
But in the coming months it may be the same, but I believe in choices.
I wrote about the flesh as endless repent for what happened to me,
But I never knew how starving and manic it made me until now.
Then I finally had someone–the soft pockets, breathing swathes and all that–
God sometimes I cry, it’s so much.
You know how old wounds catch on yesterday’s seams?
I no longer want this memories for creative fodder,
I need something tangible as graceful as your arms around me
Or your pooling eyes so I may be done with this poetry.
I want the nights to be nights and nothing more–
The moon a cicatrix for the spired enigma of an artist’s tongue.
Why can’t it just be the moon? It’s always something else with me.
Do I translate the world around me or simply adapt?
Remember that night in December when I couldn’t be alone
And we raided your parent’s liquor cabinet in the garage
And filled a waterbottle with bourbon, walking the streets
Taking pulls and laughing?
C, if you never hear anything from me again, hear this:
The trees no longer bend within the autumn storms,
Sparrows ride by one another and lose their way,
And all is quiet here.