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.”