postcards to the moon

I drove by the chemical plant tonight. I saw your face in every light and heard your heartbeat in the radio. The red light where we saw those deer that summer held me in place and the smell of your chemical smile filled the car. Then the light turned green and I was swallowed by the green green green of trees and bushes and frogs with five legs burning iridescent green green green from those chemicals in the water and I missed you so much.

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I went through the woods today to remember how to think and there were paper cut-out animals peering around trees, shifting and jumping on toothpick legs. They watched me pick my way through the ferns and I sat and had a conversation with cut-out owls with their wide eyes that looked like yours. They asked me about you, and they do that often, but most of the time I can only shrug because you never write me back. Could you just this once try to write me back?

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I sat by myself in a diner late tonight, one of those 24-hour places. There were high school kids smoking cigarettes in the corner and watched me walk in. With them was one girl and she didn't smile, just sat with her feet pulled under her and her head hanging low. While I smoked and ate strawberry shortcake, I could see your face in the boyish pixieness of her. Before I left, I paid their bill – all French fries and ice cream, and they gave me sticky smiles in return but that girl stared at her feet, wouldn't look me in the eye, and she really was just like you.

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I tried my hand at writing poetry last night. It was 3 AM and I sat at the dining room table alone. The poems started with images of moths and willow trees and ended up saying how much I hated you, loved you, missed you, just wanted you back, all woven together like a bad country song. For a few seconds I considered sending them to you but then when I woke in the morning, they were just a pile of brittle papers and empty words. I burned them with the lighter you gave me – the one with a geisha on it – and sat down to write this instead.

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Last night I brought home a boy. He was drunk and tasted like vodka. I didn't know his name and he looked nothing like you. I couldn't bear to bring him to the bed you used to sleep in, so I fucked him on the couch and he left while I was still asleep. In the morning I woke up and in those early hours, I didn't think I'd ever felt so alone till I thought of you and every inch of me was loneliness.

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I have a ribbon tied around my finger. I never really understood that but still I have this ribbon tied around my finger so I'll keep on remembering to remember you. I still see you in the moon, your face, your eyes, your smile, but some days I confide in the cut-out deer that I'm afraid of forgetting.

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I stayed up all last night to watch the sunrise. Cold and stoned, I wrapped myself in a blanket that still smelled like you and whispered my worries to the owls. They watched me with glass marble eyes and sighed in their twisted tongue. Do you still read my sentences scrawled on these bent postcards, I wondered out loud. Do you still take the time to see yourself in every word I've written? The owls didn't have any answers.

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I listened to the mix CDs you made me last night and saw your face during every harmonica solo. I tasted your lips when I bit the insides of my cheeks and felt your fingertips when mine scratched at the skin of my wrists. I miss you, my fingernails left behind in red lines on white skin. I miss you I miss you I miss you and I've run out of any other words to say. I miss you I miss you I miss you. There's nothing else left to say.