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Sending Pictures

There is no rush to continue / existing but I miss you / like an early page.

Poetry | Poetry Tuesday
October 26, 2021

Describing the lighthouse to you
went on for months in hopes
that it would stay lit by existing
in your mind. Joy, what happens 
when I stop existing 
in your mind? I don’t have 
any secrets. I have ice cream 
in my hair. I was late 
to your birthday party 
and then the house collapsed.
In all the pictures from the party 
I am in the background crying 
trying to eat vegetables and rice 
from a paper cup. Somehow 
the boy named Delusion squeezed 
past me on his way out and now 
I do not have a ride home.
I’ll just walk home, it’s not so far.
As in, I will never be able to tell you
how much I have loved you.
It is like Pleistocene megafauna:
enduring, immense, terrifying, 
with fragile yet perpetual 
evidence, perhaps even covered 
in gorgeous feathers, like those 
that Roxxxy Andrews wore 
one last time. That one time 
on your porch, reading you Tim’s 
long poem— I wanted to tell you 
this is how I want to die 
but I do not write poems like that 
anymore. You would grab my hand 
to kiss it while we sat by the carrots 
and I cannot even tell anyone about it 
because I am trying 
to be mature and professional.
I don’t want to walk. I want 
to walk with you. I hate this part 
of the song. How could I be right 
after such a long run of being left? 
You will leave too. I retract everything 
I have ever said during the month 
of November. I must excise 
my own hippocampus. I must pour 
this sesame oil down the drain.
Symone must win this season 
of Drag Race. I cannot stop 
playing out new scenarios of you 
leaving while a strange boy rakes 
my leaves. My chest is covered 
in semen. I must appear white. 
I am posed like a Renaissance portrait 
showered in unsparing light 
as the boy who is not you grabs a towel.
Suddenly, I remember when 
we texted each other pictures 
of kimchi at the exact same time. 
Do you still want me
to tell you what I had for dinner
or will no one ever comprehend 
my unconscionable bok choy?
You love soup. I hate 
that I will have to remember you 
whenever there is soup, 
like at a party. No, there is never soup 
at parties. We never even went to a party 
together that wasn’t yours. Ho hum, 
how exciting, last year’s alcohol.
Bitterness, peel off. Light, promise me 
you will stop reflecting in the pool 
of gasoline. Joy, I had promised 
to send you a picture of my coffee 
every morning. I cannot stop 
taking these pictures
so now I must shove them all 
into a small jar labeled Home 
then bury the jar before I break it
with my enormous hands. Yesterday
you sent me a picture of your backyard 
on fire. Wish you were here : )
Today I saw a rare bird. The pharmacist 
hugged me. The river was pure white. 
You will have to take my word for it.
I am always worried about burning
my tongue but I want 
something warm inside of me.
Can you blame me? Ok, do it.
You always said I walk too fast 
but I was sitting when you met me.
I spent weeks trying to catch up 
to you. I cannot bear you a son.
I can only promise to send you 
a picture of the sun every evening. 
When your voice fell out, so did 
all the pigeons from the sky. 
I love you. Stop dying. Stop leaving 
like the sun every evening. 
Be the sky. Be the pigeon 
fed by the bodega owner 
so it returns day after day.
It wasn’t the co-op snacks 
you brought me that hurt but rather
every meal we spent apart 
when you would send me pictures 
of what you were eating 
and say how you wished I was there.
My body lies in the bed. I lie 
to myself like light on white walls.
There is no rush to continue 
existing but I miss you 
like an early page. We always said 
we would unfold simply until the paper 
was flat. Ok, fine, there was never 
any paper. Don’t you believe 
in being gracious? Give me 
a quarter. I need to call home. I miss 
my losing dogs. I miss Rob.
I am forgetting all of our times.
The closeness I held close closes.
The worst part of sleeping 
is that I don’t get to kiss you.
Joy, you said that to me. 
Kuya, he literally said that to me. 
Hey, stop screaming so loud.
My thumbprint was replaced 
by yours but only for a day. 
Your arms remain so striated. 
Oh, those are my arms.
The formal innovation astounds. 
Everybody cheers. I trust Adam. 
I trust Gabbie and Genevieve 
and every other friend 
who has assured me that the sky
above us is real. I should rearrange 
my room. Make space for your absence. 
I want to stop me. Hope, forgive me. 
How gauche, to hold out hope. 
I spoon gouache into my mouth 
to spin and wash the spans 
of our limitless attentionlessness. 
How I talk too long. How I long 
to talk to you again, for you 
to pay attention. I’ll pay 
for the coffees this time.
I’ll put the camera down.