i stand

i have a great plains laugh

it floats across the prairie and collides with the rockies

who then echo it to me but it sounds different

it says: remember where you were born

i was the desert child, the sagebrush serenader, the coyote caller

rendezvous with the cheyenne

and the other little girls put ribbons in your hair

i tattooed a dreamcatcher on my arm

the feathers pointing in each direction

so that i can always find my way home

to the place where my father stood and said,

today is a good day to die

i knew sitting bull before sitting pretty

and images of bareback warriors protecting the tribe

lulled me to sleep in the thud of the wild mustangs hooves

i have crossed deserts, meadows, mountains, and oceans

to get away from my white (wo)man’s burden

drowning my trail of tears in firewater

but there you stand

speaking for the mother whose voice we can no longer hear

once again saying,

this is not yours

she is not ours

encore

i heard that tune

again

you told me as we sat

in a borrowed room

on borrowed time

again

as the words coincided

stolid synchronicity

not to take it to heart

an oeuvre superior

by time or toil

i’m too exhausted to explain

i hope you come

again

i hope you come

attic events

i was impaled on the iron rod fence of your anger

while your best friend tried to drown me

in a bathtub filled with your tears

cold, hard steel accessorize my wrists

marks from the backseat and a broken bottle

i reek of an old .38

the one from your mother’s purse

while the whole time they were downstairs

watching black and white television

tattoo #6

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throughout the drive from jersey i heard one more time over and over and we timidly changed out of tie dye after entering easy rider country as i recounted the hippie myth of the koa murders the things that happened later in waco are fuzzy in my manic depressive mind lithium or xanax or effexor clouds what little memory survived of being 19?20? in texas with a giggling fairy mother who i once shared a tree with there was a mega wal-mart and a children’s soccer game a dog with diarrhea and a recreation of a nightmare from my youth and on a hot night she quickly sketched an infinity symbol that the lazy inker haphazardly slapped on the both of us

later i can’t remember when i deigned to have it covered in philly by professor ouch at philadelphia eddie’s it was a gift from my parents when anything else would be sold for rent or oxys and i don’t remember why i chose to cover it why i would hide a friendship that has lasted over a decade my solipsistic nature erasing histories of infinite love with drug-fueled narcissism my laughing buddha sister is about to be a mother again in cali and i am childless in amsterdam it’s hidden sammy-o but my everlasting connection is just there under the surface of the misshapen lotus a reminder that i have a friend on the opposite side of the world who every once in a while thinks of me

goodnight, sweet prince

for brian ledoux

we were on top of the world

we were partners in crime

we were young and beautiful

i see you:

24 years old, joint in hand, broken angel

squinting in the sun like jesse james

laughing at the latest irony

quoting j.d. salinger

eight-year increments of space and time

two presidents, another war, a great divide

the ashes of your existence were scattered but

i was not invited so

i baptized myself in the mediterranean

i capsized on the sea of despair

i analyzed the importance of altruism

it does not slowly saw me in two

these images, flashes of life

before the great fire

i will remember your gentle energy

your divine spark

like seymour

like zooey

like buddha, a shaman, the little prince

the myth of sisyphus and the cerebus flanked

by gemini and kaya

i can no longer speak to the stars

in the hopes that you will hear me

i have come to terms that you cannot

we will never smoke

we will never laugh

we will never implode

with each other again

the long walk

the short pier

the short drop

the sudden stop

i must confess i lied when i said

i would never love again

those things we say in grief are too tall an order

now that i can feel again

i want to feel the way i do now

in his arms

in his presence

in my heart

accept my apologies

you were the impetus

you were the nexus

you were the roofbeam carpenter

goodbye

goodbye, atlantic ave.

goodbye, hill st.

goodbye, streets with no names

goodbye, five ladies and one little man

goodbye to the revolutionary street rat rapist

we should have never let in

goodbye camper, tmbg, and gbv

goodbye to the dead and all of our marleys

goodbye midnight runs and 4am phone calls

lavender, candlelight, nag champa, patchouli

i may never forgive myself

but i have forgiven you

for taking my youth

then not taking me with you

we weren’t strangers in the night

we were rimbaud’s ideal

i cannot put flowers in the place where you rest

i’m too far away from that barren forest

in heart

in mind

in miles

instead, i put these words to

the universe

the multiverse

verse

i love you and i always will

like father

like paka

like hunter

i reserve a table for you in

the tavern of my heart

i’ll meet you there for pounders and pizza

whenever you have the time

laters

farewell

goodbye