Receipt For the Purchase of a Plane Ticket to Amsterdam, As Scrawled by T.S. Eliot using His Non-Dominant Hand.

I would love.

  These days I have little to say
  Which Billie Holiday has yet to sing.
     As though the radio knows I am listening.

  A symptom less pulmonary.
  An extension of skeleton.
  Rib shaking.
  Subtle vibration of bones.
  Antique shop echoes
                           from a Victrola Silvertone.

  Ghost of song.
  Difficult to explain.
  Listen.
      Oh, darling- listen.
  Watch the notes catch the light.
  Dust settled on a conversation long forgot.
  The repeat of a chorus stuck in the mind-
                                             I would love. 

  Could sell this love
  For a steep profit.
  If we just stuck a label on it.
  Called it,
     Vintage.
  Genuine.
     Hand-made.
  Artisanal.
  Repurposed salvage of symbolic muscle.
  Upcycled lost souls.
  Called it,
Retro.

  Good old-fashioned American trouble. 

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You Are My Favorite Lie of Omission

It’s like a switch sometimes.
With me.

There are days for no reason I’d risk the scratch of electricity
To cut it off.
Skeleton of emotional fuse box.
(Sometimes my knees click when I walk. On and off.)

If New York lost power you would return to before you existed.

(“Oh, let me remember you.”)

I could smile into the evening for once,
I could justify my panic.

Anxieties so faceted, they sparkle.

My must you be so sexy and neurotic.

Tonight,
I was trying to make a point about women.
I lost
track.
I meant to discuss the social implications of birthday gifts in modern mating ritual.
The symbolic value of exchange.
The habits of the domestic feline.

Women love questions they can answer by saying ,
“This thing means I am adored.
I am loved this many dollars.
This long.
These minutes.
This unique circumstance of timing, neurotransmitters,
and fate
Made particularly for me.
Would never fit you,
though you may envy it, if you’d like.
Thank you for asking.”

Mostly I keep you secret.
Woman questions she can answer by saying love.

You are my favorite lie of omission.
Gone until the phone rings.

Baby, it’s hot as hell outside,
Take off your damn clothes.

I don’t really want anything for my birthday.
Perhaps, a pair of wire cutters.

Sun Salutation of Low Ceiling.

Cannot seem to wake  today.

In my bedroom.
5 p.m.
I stretch toward salute
Sun of low white ceiling.

A room considered large for its rent,  in Brooklyn.
Last tenant painted the walls forest green.
I curl towards the soil.
Bend into a child’s pose my knees are never capable.

Doctors built me legs that walk
and knees which refuse to pray.
They cease their bend at 87 degrees.
They pause to ask questions.
(My joints are agnostic, it seems)

Fetal position that my limbs never understood.
Vulnerable organs always open to the world.
I have never learned.

I beg my blood to move on these late afternoons,
Illness kept me in bed well past noon
There is writing to do.
There is the coughing up of consequence.
Must coax circulation to the window of this skin.
Call it out with a love song.
Soft crack of pebble on the window.
Threat of shatter, of romance.
Equally dangerous. Equally likely to call you from sleep.

Sugar moon skin tone
Stolen from my diabetic mother.
Everyone blamed the full moon on her.

There is no such thing as moonlight.

Picket fences gone out of style,
The millennial boys all bearded
Drinking the way towards a bourbon shortage.
This is our whiskey rebellion.

I moved to Brooklyn and now even my poems are gluten free.
There are BMWs parked along
Only one side of Lorimer Street.