The Scientist (2)

i woke up this morning with your name

written on my hand. it was blurry,

enough to make someone sound drunk

if they’d try to read it.

do you remember?

i was always

recording, remembering, reciting, reliving

reliving reliving reliving reliving

i know where you went! you vanished

inside of your own name as i clutched it

so hard it turned into dust and spread outward

to be breathed into every co-worker’s daughter,

every love interest of karl urban

and every woman that has the absolute nerve

to start an online petition against bp.

i just wanted to know how to remove the emptiness

from myself. what i never understood

was that it cannot

be removed. it’s not your dozen cough drops

in my gut that must have once smelled

like the inside of your sweatpants.

i’m not an addict, i told you,

as i saw my smile dance in a bowl

of coors, seagrams, kraken and cranberry juice

while listening to oingo boingo’s “weird science.”

i experimented now and again.

sent the rivers down into the deep bowl of the stomach

to drown the emptiness away. shut up,

shut up, shut up, please, god,

i know where you went before i cocked the can

and let it blow like a shotgun

down my throat, leaving an empty

weapon shaking in my own hand.

“a gun? it’s beer. beer can’t be a gun.”

well, tell me, what do you see

when you find a man whose mouth still waters

at the smell of a scotch at

a year sober?

“the most interesting man in the world”? “proof that god loves you”?

“you sound just like your mother”?

there is no difference

between conviction and truth.

an addict will experiment and experiment

until darwin rises and says “time’s up!”

but the scientist will stop when he finds the answer.

there are nights that i still can’t remember,

lying awake next to your hairs in my bed

that i still haven’t found, listening

to the searing and the crackling as you vanished

into your name.

i am not an addict.

and i suppose i have you to blame.

i’ve held bottles and bottles

of widmer, samuel, sierra and chimay

between my fingers

but somewhere along the line

i breathed in the dust of your name

and now everything tastes bitter.

but it’s alright. it’s alright

because now i remember what you said to me.

“the scientist will never have the good grace

to be able to see what he wants to see.”

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