Dreams, Litanies, and Lectures from the Car Crash
(ONE: LOVER -)
I fall asleep - befitted - bitten - by summer - July. is. cold. er. then. i. remember. it. ever. being. And the night before our happenstance, per chance encounter I dream of lovers wrapping me in their cold hands - thick - and before God we find sobriquet's for each other. Before God
we are under
I sleep like the dead,
wake up to a room boiling with morning mist
there is dew on my fingers, and
there is death in my hair.
PERSONALITY FLAW: I always blame myself for other peoples mistakes.
(TWO: MICHAEL -)
the police will
tell me that you were just one of the guys,
they'll say that you lost it last year
and poured gasoline over yourself
and they'll whisper, like a secret
that you're sorry.
PERSONALITY FLAW: I don't cry, until I'm so anguished that I can't stop.
(THREE: METAL -)
We are two strangers, until we clash - become: two strangers loving, without love. We are two solid metal bodies until you veer, like some kind of God, into my eyesight, into my silence, my inability to scream, my mind racing. My thumbnail jutting from the leather steering wheel. My metallic litany, my metallic kiss - we suck face with hydrogen, breathe in carbon, walk on rainbow shiny gasoline slicks like newly formed victors in our own little world of car on car.
I thought: don't close your eyes or you'll never open them again.
I search my mind for a reflection, a forgotten moment where I may or may not have seen your pupils dilated. I wait. Second. Second. Brace. Face you. Crash.
FLAW: I could have taken the exit - straight shot - down to Seattle - I could have wandered China Town in my favorite jeans gawking up at the ceramic dragons dancing on each light pole - I could have been at home sleeping - I could have been dreaming - I could have been later, or I could have been right on time.
(FOUR: VIOLENCE -)
My knuckles are
bleeding, while the car turns
on it's unnatural axis.
This is me, stark white
smelling the smoke,
this is me
my heart is not beating on air
but on instinct
and I am scratching like an animal
trying to get out,
trying to get back into the world.
This is me,
falling to the pavement
fumbling on newly numbed legs
to crawl to the back of the car.
This is me, losing it,
the witnesses holding me,
a woman (she must be my mother
in my hazy eyes) putting her hand on
my shoulder: 'are you alright?'
these are my eyes closing,
my heart pumping blood as thick as sand,
everything forms slowly,
moves with outlines,
I am a check sheet of vital organ performances,
I am no longer a poem
I am a girl believing
that she's already dead.
FLAW: I want to see your face with blood on it; I want to peel your skin off leisurely; I want to take the set of teeth you lost and swallow them slowly, I want to feel your pain and scream that it will never be as much as my own. I want to handcuff you to the bed and show you just how young I really was that morning.
(FIVE: PAVEMENT -)
The indent of roadway is on my hands; my back, my legs, my heart.
All I can see is sky,
a set of paramedics rolling me
like the car onto a stretcher.
I want to throw up
but I'm afraid of being lopsided again.
They speak in a language of:
Stay with me, and, What's your name?
I dream in a language of letting go.
I am sobbing
but I can't feel anything;
I'm not breathing
but I can't stay still.
When I start to shake: (shock, I'll be told later)
they tie me down
with yellow ropes
and I know I must be dead;
if I could move, I'd run
if I could speak
I would pray.
FLAW: My bruises look like ash; dark sooty lines that crisscross me. I have become as sharp as a knife. In these thick ashes, I dream of rebirth.
(SIX: AMBULANCE -)
to my chin
be my brother,
and I was too
to read his
LITANY: I pray for the children Michael; the children that you wanted to leave behind.
(SEVEN: HOSPITAL -)
They take me to the same hospital that I was born in. The same emergency room doors that my mother must have passed through, deep in the serge of a contraction, my infant cells suddenly adult. Girl to Woman. Soul to Spirit. And all of the bullshit that I think about while lying on my back. I don't throw up until five hours later when they take the neck brace off and let me stand. This is me, simulated in X-ray portraits; these are the shapes of my bones and with a moan I am throwing my fright up, fast and hard, pink into a blue bag. I am naked, my clothes discarded with pulls and careful hands, breasts sagging through the underside of a hospital gown. When my knees hit the linoleum, I want my mother's arms around me more then anything else in the world. I want her hand on my heart to ease the heavy breathing. I want to fold back into her. I want to forget. Everything shattering in front of my eyes like the windshield. I want out of this fucking hellhole.
I want to find you along these halls Michael, I want to search you out like prey; I want to hunt you. I can feel the anger sizzling in my body like acid, I can feel you push inside my heart and squeeze the edges inward, fast and slick with the tissuy shape of your collapsed lung. I want your wife to see what you've done to me. I want her to see the scars, as damning as lipstick on my chest. I want her to see the blood, taste it, like your cum all over me.
I will harden myself like these walls. I will blink. Outlast. In those hours, I didn't know if you were dead or alive, drunk or sober.
They say you're sorry, like that will do the slightest bit of difference to make me better.
DREAM: I dream of you and I in hell as man and wife; we did not live to see each others faces; or plead any kind of case for redemption. But we are together and your hand is in my hand. And my heart is bleeding. I have to look at you through thick glass to recognize the distortion. And our bastard children suck the cyanide from my breast until they are drunk on sorrow. I dream of you and I making love in a dark room; your hands scratch like wicker across my back and my nails leave help signs along your cheeks. We like it ruff. We like it when God watches us fuck up, dick around. I snort a shot of heroin off your kneecap. I dream of you for months afterward.
(EIGHT: WINDOW -)
Walking out of the hospital
people stare at the marks you've
left of me. I can't hide.
I have become the window
for the world to see your misdeeds through.
I have searched for forgiveness
like a shaman in the desert;
inspected it on the lips of boys
who's names I don't remember,
listened to it on the groan
of electric guitars,
hunted for it in books
I've searched my mind for
your face in the darkness,
at the light
though not gone
I would like to make it clear
that I have tried to find forgiveness
but I haven't found it yet.
(NINE: VICODIN AND LEXAPRO -)
In the numbness I can't write; but in the silence I don't have the strength to fight my demons on my own. The demands of the doctors - this isn't right! Do you feel depressed? Do you have panic attacks? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your pain? Are you home sick? Youth sick? Fucked up? Drugged? Smug? Debugged? Do you want to talk? How do you feel? Do you want a hug?
Is this backwards - every night I dream of it - every day I see it (again), normal? Or is it just me?
DREAM: A YEAR LATER:
I layer rose petals on your tongue;
chain you to my fears,
feel you up and down for signs of remorse
I always wake up before the words come out of your mouth.
(TEN: WILL -)
he says nothing;
holds my hands,
kisses my shoulder.
(NUMBER ONE FEAR:)
My only real fear
is that it will happen
every car is your car.
(ELEVEN: NOW -)
I want to seal each poem into a manila envelope and drop it into your mailbox. I want to walk on your grass. Paint my name on your white garage in red ink; I want you to remember, and I want to forget. I want to watch through the windows as you open it; I want to feel your fingers slide along the crease. I want to watch your eyes as they watch me swim across the page. I want you to see my body as words again, rather than the nearly dead girl on the pavement that you remember. I want to send you the photographs of my bruises. I still want your wife to see. I want your son to see. I want your daughter to see. I want you to know me. I don't ever want to think about you again.
I want to send these gifts to you, but I'm afraid that you'd send something else back.