for Jules and Rebecca and Jessica (summoners of wisdom)
None of this was here before, yet I can’t remember what you looked like without. All the hair on your arms got burnt somehow by July or nocturnal angels. You can call that scar a footnote to the rest of you. It doesn’t have to be tragic or metaphorical. Like that time you swam over disconnected limbs and tried to imagine the shape they used to belong to.
None of this is because of you.
One of the hardest parts about leaving is the moon is never available for a one-on-one and when you try to dial its number, all you get are the sounds of birds’ wings crashing.
Like an applause. Like the milky rust of a stubborn teardrop. Like a heat rash on the part of your body billboards tell you to flatten. Like the horizon on a fingernail. Like what happens when you emerge from a corn maze and at the end, a rainbow of crows.
for Adam (and always Rebel),
tell the world 1 thing you think they might never know because it is purely you and not an ounce another person I’m so fearful of dying and yet I think about it everyday.
then tell of 2 reasons which your experiences have directly informed in your being unique to that thesis That time when I was fifteen but also before that and then again at thirty-five but also the subway tracks and that rootftop no one knew about and the collection of stickers, rocks, postcards and pills, plus that time that time and when I hoarded so many secrets in my body everyone called it weight gain but I knew the truth.
then tell 3 fibs as to disguise again. they must directly abort your truth on purpose as a test to the reader 1. When I was eight or eleven, I ran over a small child with my bicycle which was somebody’s cousin in a well-groomed neighborhood in New Jersey where the adults competed with the size of their swimming pools and the children competed with the size of their fists. 2. I never really graduated from high school, but still sat beside my alphabetized best friend at the ceremony and when they didn’t call out my name, no one seemed to notice. I waited many years before trying out college and by then no one seemed to ask for proof of what came before. 3. I love myself.
finally, propose 4 items of intrigue. those can be from your process as you go along and find a need to vent about, or a nocturnal fog that leads us (the readers ) astray, or a picked-over analytical debut of what it all means, or even an offering of some sort, an out-of-the-way muse flicker, if you will. 1. In Colorado, I lit my secrets on fire. She stood beside me and I explained to her what that smell was all about; she loved me anyway. 2. I don’t know anything about truth; I’ve been lying for longer than I’ve been standing, but I know that it is so much easier to walk away and I’m interested in challenges right now. 3. I know that I am walking around with a crowd of voices inside me, and I can only speak one of their languages. 4. I know that mouths are like ashtrays, full of the rubble of smoke and ash of what is left behind. 5. I know a dirty word and it rhymes with everything that is difficult to pronounce. Like life. Like this.