I had a dollar to my name and
that was it.
I had even lost my bob:
begged my friend to
shave it in a blackout
I want this thing gone
so I had to scour the store for about
three cheap wigs that could
possibly be real hair,
a couple pairs of jeans,
some thrift store shirts that said nothing about style or quality or even
weathering seasons but the joy was the
low thread count
, the way she said “only fifty cents” and
you had that in your back pocket. a big puffy
brown jacket that someone had donated
to me when I was probably shivering
in my seven year hoodie and
I know how to take a handout if you phrase it right.
I was what you called the
“life of the party” and no matter how
many bedspreads I ruined, I was always invited back and
honestly, lucky timing that year
hipsters were cool so I showed them my
pall malls and dirty nails and asked if they knew
what it felt like to empty your guts about anything real
or if their record collection was more about posturing,
fell head first down the metal fire escape as I asked him
but got right up like I hadn’t concussed several times that night
and told him I listen to more music than he’s ever heard of,
said to him
I’m schizophrenic or at least
generally at baseline
and then I threw up a little on the carpet
before I skulked out onto Hampton,
(turn the headphones up),
sort of cackling.
boots—those were second hand too even
though everyone agrees shoes are something
a person needs brand new and
to spend my days sipping
those 7-11 brand 1.5 liters of
the kind that are hard to carry with one hand
or finish by yourself but here I am
the next day, unslept, squinty eyed and crawling in the grass
in the public square dragging it behind me.
lips cracked and red,
phone probably dead
I don’t remember crying but they said
I did it all the time.
a place on my friends couch.
place on my mom’s couch.
a breathalyzer on my car steering wheel
that only started with one clean breath which
was becoming more rare so sometimes I asked for help
(Blow here, I’d point)
no real place to live.
about a dollar in my pocket
and a negative bank statement with
matching credit card debt but no
shortage of men and you know
(Call your wolves)
I fucking lived through that.
so I know grace personally,
like I wear it and absorb it and
I do pray with fervor.
I never forget where I’ve been.
and you think clutching a rosary makes me
a saint or insane but either way
you have never seen what asbestos can do to a structure,
the way mold just kind of grows on walls like that so you
don’t really think about it and
I build altar.
I answered all of your questions like that
after awhile: long form
in poetry and short stories
and anecdotes and all over the place so your drawing a map
to connect my life and her life and you’re seeing
there’s no difference in your bedroom but waiting
to see how I write you at night
when no one is around wishing you had courage
to bang on doors too.
wishing you had the courage to one day
drive your car headfirst
into a parked cement mixer too.
wishing your innocuous superstitions grew pulses, became
a poltergeist you leash to your bed.
wishing you had the courage to spit on a man’s face
for touching your leg
or learning how to tuck a razor inside of your cheek.
(Pull it out and graze his face)
wishing you had the courage to tell
true stories too.
And I lived through that.
“How do forget everything day 1”