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we drove in a rickety car whose headlights had seen too much
and whose hood had smelled too little.
we drove past fairytale homes that tasted like…
the love we tried so hard to turn into our autobiographies.
we drove through highways trying to find their way home,
and across veiny mountaintops where all we could see were the fog’s fingertips
there to make sure we didn’t get lost in the air.
we passed neon signs that pricked holes in the night,
calling out to us through the deafening darkness, telling us to
stop, rest awhile, we have TV and free wi-fi! cheap motel rooms!
but money had yet to find its way into our coat pockets lined with
dust and snow and fairies’ droppings.
so we slept on beds made out of birds’ feathers that had been
lost in ghost-storm memories,
and grass i thought was growing just for you.
we used leftover ashes from recycled bonfires (like recycled people) as pillows.
they burned our tearstained skulls and charred our silence-soaked hair, but
at least they were softer than the logs on the beach still croaking their last words,
trying to swallow one last gulp of life or moonlight or even dirt.
in maine, we slept underneath the starfish,
watched as they formed constellations
(cassiopeia, the dippers, ursa minor, ursa major),
and we used sand to make a blanket big enough for two.
and driving to massachussetts gave me an excuse to be suffocated by…
koenig words: “walcott, don’t you know that you’re insane? don’t you want to get
out of cape cod, out of cape cod tonight?”
but i didn’t actually want to be suffocated,
i didn’t actually want to die,
because it was your love that was supposed to kill me.
or the evaporation of your love,
because books with sad endings used to be my gospels;
they told me how i should live (my) life.
you gave me a new smile in vermont.
and you gave me a wheel of cheese
that i wanted to wheel towards you in case you ever got lost
and needed something to take you home again.
fresh cheddar cheese! high quality! will last for ages!
i hoped you wouldn’t get lost for that long though,
because then who would come with me to philadelphia,
pretend we’re important because that’s where important people were,
pretend we’re destined to create our own country,
because country-makers lived there?
and who would be the designated driver of this disintegrating car?