Changing Your Story: A Reading
The sounding of whales,
Rain dripping on rock,
A baby bird fallen from its nest,
Snails in dried-up tidepools.
Rearticulating limbs to fit them in a body bag,
Snap, crackle, pop,
How are you? I’m sorry. That was a stupid thing to say.
Sage in a pattern where my brother fell,
A moose and baby staring us down in the snow as we backed away slowly from his grave.
My Grandma stopped eating because she loved to talk.
My sister called our father autumn daddy for five years.
Cancer is everywhere.
My furniture has all been moved to different places.
My mattress is stained with his fluids.
I can’t make it past the center of the bed.
Look at our sky, not ours any longer.
My third mouthguard, almost chewed through,
My heart is broken, like shards of glass moving against each other in my chest
I wonder if I’m having a heart attack,
And I don’t care.
One friend, fifteen minutes down in the fitness room,
That is all.
The tears drop and drop,
Maybe they will never stop.
I dance and a song comes on and I cry on the dance floor.
Hold my rings.
Do I need to run to the bathroom?
Is it dark enough?
Do I trust the people I am with?
Weary beyond measure,
Friends say, “Go for a walk.”, “Get an ice cream.”
I’m lucky if I can swing my legs down to the floor.
Food tastes like dust.
People ask what I want to eat.
Nothing, I say, nothing.
Cheerios and coffee,
With a 5-minute attention span,
150 ties, 30 hats, 25 pairs of vintage glasses, 17 tennis rackets,
30 bags of clothing and shoes donated,
1000 paintings to archive,
700 books to archive,
1 book to publish and a palette to make.
What are you going to do for work?
I’m a consultant who is impatient with people.
No fucking idea.
Gotta make money,
How am I gonna make money?
My teeth click together even when I am awake.
I think I have an ulcer and my breath is hideous.