Dimensional Detachment Therapy
I talk to myself in third person.
I walk around department stores
in my pajamas, and when someone asks
what I'm doing I say, “Do you mind?
I'm busy with my sleepwalk.”
I buy things I might need
in case I die tomorrow.
I've started collecting satellite dishes
to broadcast “What a Wonderful World”
on a loop to congressmen
until they get the message.
I believe the earth was made
in eight and a half days.
I throw rocks at the windows
of passing 747s, hoping someone
on board will panic and open
the emergency exit door mid-flight.
I tried to disprove God
but she wouldn't let me.
I attend funerals I wasn't invited to
just to look the body in the eye.
My ex-psychiatrist always told me
I was never meant for this dimension.
On the corner by the drugstore
I sit on the curb and glare
at the calluses, bleeding on my palms,
being baked by the sun
during an unreasonably hot September
evening. Stoplight traffic
has slowed to a trickle of Plymouths
and Buicks built before I was born.
I feel the weight radiating
from the phone in my pocket,
containing your last message
I haven’t had the guts to read yet.
I focus on the splintered wood-grain
underneath my fingernails. Two blocks
from the job site is all I’ve managed
to walk. Somewhere
past the flickering
yellow light I know
you’re waiting for me,
doodling circles in the rings
your perspiring pint glass left
on our scarred coffee table.
The blood from a wounded day
is pooling in my palms, as the sun cakes
crust over the slivers
lining the tips of my fingers, wondering
how they’ll feel your skin again.
Like a Secret
I met you exactly where you told me to:
your shut-in neighbor’s
old farm equipment shed. No one
had heard from him in years.
Earlier, in church, you said
you had something to tell me.
When I arrived you had already fallen
to your knees on the packed dirt floor,
in a fury, gouging at your eyes with balled
palms and two tear stains pooling
on your Sunday school dress.
For a moment, in the door frame
with rusty hinges but no door to hold,
I saw you on an altar.
Almost ready to be sacrificed
to your own life, laid out before you
like dominoes on the edge
of an active volcano.
You dug deeper into your eyes as I walked in
and wordlessly put my hands over your own
and lead them to your side.
The outside world had ceased.
We stared into each other, past swollen
red eye sockets and into reflective glass gaze
until we finally embraced, the way only people
who will one day live can.
You never told me what you had to that day.
It was the last day I ever saw you.