Remote Viewing

Acidic late blight pall to the reflection your face
casts via a series of well-positioned mirrors
from Chicago, where you cast about your apartment
in search of a sleeveless dress of a dream,
to New Zealand, where I am turning the corner
on my last dime. This time, I don’t have any trouble
with my hands. They draw the map. They fold the paper.
This time, I don’t have any room for terror.
It has been marked with an X. It has been marked
as a courtesy to the doctors teeming at the fences,
scalpels b/w their teeth, flip charts tacked up
on each tree b/w you and me. Lately, you haven’t
messaged me, you are always set to Away. What are you
when you are Away? Not there, not here. Today,
I laid asphalt over my priors, prior dream,
prior arresting thought of you drifting into sleep,
the cat licking itself to the bone. Asleep is the tune
I hear when you put me on hold. Lately, your voice
lists dreams in which, sitting in an iced down overdose
of December, you clutch your knees as you listen
to the neighbors’ music. Listen, the tune is jejune.
The listen has me on my knees, ear pressed against
jar pressed against the shimmering wall. Nothing.
What is there to love of a sunny day in Chicago?
Do you still hear as though through the wrong
end of a telescope? That black dot’s not a point
on the map. That black dot’s my pupil, looking in.
I fear these things I do not know how not to fear.
How does a pigeon work? What are you wearing
to tonight’s dream? I’ve repositioned
the mirrors just so, just so that you are visible
only when you are dreaming. The marble staircase
spirals into its shell. Streamers mark the afterburn
of my love for you. Streamers laze in the air
of your recent dreams. Who is the dreamer
that dreams the dream and who is the dreamed?
I am the dreamed.
I dream the dream.
New Zealand does not dream of you.
New Zealand does not dream. But I do.

International Rate

I’m thinking of a number
between one and the end
of this calling card
burns through the conversation
I’ve worked out
ahead of time, wherein
I tell you about the glowworms
pocking the trees
like uranium-tinted acne scars,
the weaponed stars discharging
our secret narratives, the sudden
bark! of a dog stuck
in its dumb loop chasing fireflies.
I meant to tell you
my face slid off
in the earthquake.
I mean to tell you
anaphora’s the disease of the stutterer.
I meant to file a report, upon seeing
the second plane rise
from the mushroom cloud
that was Flight 93, but, too stoned
on the reflection of the rain
on the hood of the car, I penned
an ambiguous note which started
and ended with the line,
“too painful.”
But nothing’s too anything. Standing in line
at the grocery store, I’ve spent
twenty minutes annotating
the smiles everyone’s
fit into, just for the simple pleasure
shopping can afford, and my debit card
offers nothing. So, what’s next?
More of the static
we’ve assimilated, as if it’s natural
to talk like emphysematic robots.
We do talk. Let me tell you about
the woman I talked to at the office
I found out I had worked in these past five years.
She hated, well, she didn’t care much
for her hometown, with its nailed down trees,
its children painted on the fences fencing
in nothing. That wind she blew out on
blew its vatic kiss at her every day,
and even now she puckers
when she walks past
an open window. But I’m dead
to her. What I mean is, I’ve kept
a picture of her in my wallet,
to remind me why the windows rattle.
Are you still listening? I heard you cough,
or heard my own cough, it’s just the delay.
I can’t keep straight
which country I’m in,
can you? My passport’s
robbing banks, has me on the run.
I don’t fingerprint well.
I’ve been talking for twenty minutes
and I know the connection’s
been dead for nineteen. Moths here
are ornery, and shaped like death, they appear
like twisted metal
as they spiral the light fixture.

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