the family smirk

It’s not the cost of the ticket that makes it so hard to see you. The things that come between us make a long list.

Oceans of land between us. Oceans of minutes. Oceans of blinks. Oceans of dreams. Oceans of life.

We sit around the fire a while, conjuring new ghosts.

Buddha sits blindly on the bookshelf. I am stretched out on your rug, making myself at home. You are smoking and smouldering. You are apologizing insincerely. This is your home. I shrug. Take adavantage. Pour a glass of absinthe.

The livingroom is bathed in syrup light. The house smells sweet and dirty and coffee.

“This is nice.”
“Just sitting here. Being quiet.”

Outside, oak trees are uprooting the sidewalks humorlessly, methodically. It has taken them centuries, and they will never stop. No one dares to stop them. You and I, we know the inevitable decay. It embraces us. We are part of it.

The karaoke bar smells like a plumbing problem and sounds like an education problem. I am the education problem. You are working out the chords. Note the crazy horn player who doesn’t make any music, just bleeps and bloops wildly, the highest level jazz you ever heard. Songs like a drunk animal on the sidewalk.

In a bar red and empty as a heart, we watch biker films and speculate, I speculate, on what it would be like if this bartender were my sister. Her name is Jenny, and you have to ask her out on a date. The parents would hate her, but it could be so much fun. I explain to your friend how we are a cult. He says he knows, and I’m a little insulted.

The things that come between us sometimes dissipate. A bunch of feral cats moved in on your back patio, and you play guitar for them. The sun sets over an endless lake. We are twins separated by this lake of years and space.

The way we recoil like misfired guns. The way we mirror the family smirk.

Abandon all metaphors of windows. Your windows are floor-to-ceiling. Might as well be doors. I am staring at the ceiling and clucking like a dumb old hen.

Forgetfulness rolls in. The bedroom air is cold and dry, but by morning, I’m sweating and parched. I wake to the sweet smell of rain in New Orleans. A crack of light slides in between the floor boards. The cats are calling. You are cursing, lying in bed, one thin wall away, stretching and grunting alone in the nearness.

A siren whistles over the city. It never gets closer or further away, just echos off everything between here and there.

Apocalypse Poetry: From Satire to Sincerity
as comfortable as you can

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