Thursday, January 3, 2008

Liquids Not as Risky as First Feared

This is not a poem, because who reads poems?

Remember when you put the single-serving coffee creamer in my hand, and I said it was small and cold and like your heart? But what did I say first? That it was good.
(Remember before we knew the same people and we had nothing to talk about? What did we say? Small, important things. In my dream, corn is very finely and expertly judged, and everything else is zero (zero = not corn). When did you say: zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero? An old man talks about figs. The headlines read: Liquids Not as Risky as First Feared. According to you, our skin is bread, our quirks are corked quarks. I start a song in the dining room and when I come back you're still singing it. I step into the lobby and an old woman looks up, says, "It's raining, I'm eighty years old, I don't have an umbrella, I'm eighty years old, do you have a dollar, I'm eighty years old... it's raining." Shouldn't I give her everything I have? After that, I step into the rain, and laugh and laugh (and maybe I'm not done).

Remember the skin on the hot chocolate that cooled and cracked, and the light on it, and how you always intrude on my confusion as if you have a right to it?)
Before my hand was empty, and I ignored it at the end of my arm. The cream has weight and texture and shifts a little inside when I move. Back and forth. This is a compliment: your heart is like a little, liquid thing that sweats. It reminds me what hands are for.

Remember how you held the ice cube on my arm, and it cried and cried? There is no reason for it--we just do the things we are designed to do. Here's the heat, the cold, the open hand, the fig and the umbrella, the chocolate, the curdled cream. Here is Peter's thimble and the kiss on the knuckle you don't remember.

Write about that.

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