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I don’t know how to talk to people anymore. I don’t have anything to say.


To Pomanders: now I see where I was,
a year ago, measuring off distances,
disconsolately drudging up dirt,
groundward sinking toward the core of it all
—from cold dark to thermogenic red—
and through the core of it, burning.

Dear Pomanders: I suppose
one day I will end up on opposites
floating in the middle of the Indian Ocean,
drifting skyward, sunward.

Nobody on the water, and nothing, nothing but napalm glossed hands
moving choppy moving on the shore. His name is Kent and he has an almost-empty
bottle just like I do just like I do clutched in both hands between his knees
I know this because I have lived here almost as long as he has lived here
off the water and this is where he sits at night crying silent about the people who
burned the people he burned when he was just a boy. Probably not even
eighteen in Vietnam.

We spend most summer nights like this. Not speaking. He on his dock on the
edge in a fishing chair bolted into concrete dock bobbing with the leftover
waves because this time of night is “no-wake” on water. He is there and I
know he is there even though I am in the middle of the lake because he
is there every night and I drink to the sound of water-hitting haul drifting
slowly slowly toward one shore or another the sky deep blue and I am
drowning always drowning upward watching the summer moon move further
away. Even in the middle of the lake I can see shores sliding into place
on all sides and I am surrounded by land by the closed quarters of solid
empty expensive houses that are used four months tops out of every twelve
and I miss the ocean I miss the ocean and I wonder if Kent does
too but I’d never ask because we never speak. I know what it is like to
burn but I do not know what it is like to burn the way Kent burns.

I am small. I am lost. Words form strangely in the mouth.
I wait for a feeling that doesn’t come.

I want to become fluent in French and learn how to press flowers. Today I’m putting in a new water heater. The porcelain liner cracked and now the old one is rotting from the inside. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I want to use my hands. I want to fill my head. I want to live on a boat somewhere on the East Coast with coffee and a grey-blue oversized sweater and a dog. I want to open up an antique shop/book shop and woodwork/ refurbish things in the back. I want to become a linguistic anthropologist or a cultural anthropologist or a sociologist or a writer. I don’t want to rot from the inside.

Its 2 a.m and I recall you being more than menial pretty. I recall you captivating. I recall you having a smile having lighting up an entire room. You are you. I know it's painful. I hate being me. But you have a sunshine in you that can bring the darkest of dark to its knees. I know we don't know. But someone does and they're waiting for us.

I woke up to find this. To whoever wrote this, I love you.

she was drunk and swimming into the mouth of a cove
away from the boat away from bug-free and toward the
weeds, half drowning. no one thought to swim after her.
they all watched, tight lipped from the bow, with heat in
their throats and in their veins. the water was too cold
warmer than the air but too cold. it was all too cold for
July, the sixth of July. as the sun waned leftover
fireworks were being set off behind the shoreline, on a
deck boat, and from a string of condos immaculate and
high above the water. she swallowed the rocks she couldn’t skip
open throated the view is better from here she called
and one by one the watchers all got in the water, some with still-lit
cigarettes, ashes  searing skin on the way down and they moved
toward shore, sinking in soft clay and shale, oblivious
to anything but the empty explosions in the sky

the open future closed, slain and hard fallen,
and the air the panicking air stifled movement
momentarily as [herded] cattle open and bent in a field, 
aware of shadow of wolf
cast upon the grass by some splintering light
the day had left behind. Lycaon came to this place
red-mouthed and full of fire
having slaughtered his fifty unborn sons and countless
unmarried wives either after serving a god—lightning god—
wrong meat or trying to murder a god—lightning god—
in his sleep. Nyctimus the son of Lycaon, reborn, snuffed
the light out of his once father and became king
in the sight of the [herded] cattle Lycaon would have sacrificed
had he not been murdered first. this night would always end in
one death or another. Nyctimus washed his hands in a muddied
stream and walked whistling to the nearest diner
and drank coffee until the coffee went cold and the sun washed
the ground in warmth, warmth he could not feel as he was reborn
in the cold and of the cold and of the dark.