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Why I Cannot be your Facebook Friend 

I am at the dentist. Working out on my yellow phone. Watching a show where C level models compete to eat horse intestines. The TV projects from an insect arm. It has the face of my ex-husband, smiling and void. I like to set small fires and inhale them. My lips go tingly. My pelvis groans. I’m drunk. I’m medicated. I would rather go get my laughter calibrated, or have sex with ridiculous men. Like maybe one of those clean-cut kids who bicycle the path of righteousness to my door. I refresh cleavage. I have reliable debt and three sloppy lawyers. One of them in my mouth, another rifling my purse where I keep half moons of Oxycontin. The third I lost, or flung away. I’m not sure of life purpose. I could embrace age 19 again. Something like skin as magnetized mirror, shiny quivering pull. Blowjobs for the teacher, for the kind man who sold me the clarinet, the wetted reed. Sex in hot car seats, or the cold earth of the church basement, below the nativity scene camel—or even in someone’s bed. I am aging now. And now. I keep secretive letters from South Africa. Am occupied with cleaning. I need to sweep the ceiling and vacuum the aquarium gravel. I work so many jobs, one with wolves that claw and scratch. Another I re-inflate pillows. One I pause and just answer a phone. These all involve rolled up hay bales of fifty dollar bills. My head doesn’t clunk right. My tongue waits. I am boring, mostly boring. Some say easy. Others disagree. Hang on. I’m not even done yet, or begun. 


What Percentage

Of life should you spend in obligation? As the beer grows cloudy. The bananas blue. (But enough of breakfast.) Sometimes I sit in traffic behind a waxed monolithic and I’ll look up, up, and see a remarkably laughable cloud—billowing, strutting along—and suddenly miss the old days of heiresses and poets; where you could just swoon, lock yourself into a dark room, and send notices to everyone: Nervous Breakdown. And they were like, “It’s cool.” Called in sick today. My hangover a doormat bristling green. Mumbled the word “projectile,” then held the phone to the toilet, and poured in a can of sliced pineapples. That did it. Walked downtown, to fish the Grand River. The best spot is below the YMCA. Saw a leaping deer and a Valkyrie, spray-painted onto an underpass. Saw a frog swallowing a frog. Saw the most vibrant green Mountain Dew. A Mexican man held it high, with tangled line, lead weight, dented spoon—his fishing gear. He cast into the pools below the dam, where the Steelhead pause. Before they leap. To mate. And die. He tapped my shoulder and spoke slowly, with upmost gravity. But I don’t speak Spanish. And, honestly, he smelled. Like onions and turpentine. So I turned away, unsettled. And my line went screaming out. I watched it, screaming out, and the question arose: to capture this life (the only ever), or let it go. Which leads to regret? In the steel coil of the swirling water. There—right there with everything—was the answer, flowing under and over and by.