A former friend said to me, I’m jealous of your whimsical life.
I haven’t stopped drinking since I was in a hotel room
with his wife, my feet kneading red, chalklike carpet,
their honeymoon’s pall a dim, amber light. She said
you need Vitamin D, Sunshine. I made a habit
of overdosing on the sun. Tell me again what I need.
I had yet to unpeel friendship’s pear with my lips–
and sink. I danced with her months before
at The Viper Room, my shirt half-clipped. I could not stop
thinking about how we might fit under the drunken moon:
her candles the flares in a darkening room, wax trickling
with no end, the rose-like incense rotting the room…
I read an article claiming that remembering
a memory is like saving a JPEG–
each time you remember, the image pixelates
a little more until it blurs beyond recognition.
It was dark when it happened. We were drinking.
Streetlights cast orange bars on the bed through
window blinds while we slipped hungrily
from existence. Her face was a spade
but we felt like the garden, digging deeply
into ourselves until we became an open cemetery.
I drink screwdrivers to feel the acid on my tongue,
feeling better since fleeing to the bay’s foggy shores.
I make stops to study the water at each chilly beach,
every heave of the tide as clear as the last–
and as frenzied– her arm reaches into the sand
closer and closer to pull me in, have one last good look
at me to ensure I disappear, if I’m not already gone.
I have my flask. The sunset. Miles of winding road.
Memories to fade, to make, to fade.
(originally published in Memoryhouse, Spring 2016)