Art

Nicholas Sparks Made This Happen – R. Jones

Taking a 

Noah-from-TheNotebook

approach to my brooding 

these days.

 

Of course

I can’t build her a house,

since I can’t really build

much of anything—

 

I’m more of a consumer,

a destroyer,

a melter-downer instead of a 

Creator—

 

so I’m just going to 

write her a pathetic pile

of pathetic letters

and grow my beard in the rain, 

practice my delivery

of 

IT WASN’T OVER,

IT STILL ISN’T OVER

in the mirror.

 

Read Whitman

instead of Tennyson,

because Tennyson’s boring and regal

and Whitman’s loud and his words come up from my heaviest

of centers,

and keep my hands

in my pockets

and imagine

I’m matching her step

when it’s just about to rain

and the Carolina sky

sweats lavender

and the air smells like metal

and the velvet river has akathisia 

in all its creases.

 

Go to war.

Blow strangers up

while thinking of

how she looked

when we swam

on the hottest day of the year,

her vermillion swimsuit

coming off

when it was just us away from the boardwalk,

remembering how she used to dissolve

under my fingers and

purr against the words

I spoke.

 

Pretend we are bedding 

down on a 

dead woman’s linens 

in a dead woman’s 

petrified house—

plantation secrecy shimmering against

the ghostliness of nocturnal vacancy

and the ghastliness 

of my bone-scorched torso—

our nakedness cartoonish

and flickering

in a bath of candle

drip.

 

Steal her.

 

Steal her first,

then steal her back

from whatever I left her with 

or without.

 

Climb a Ferris Wheel.

Appraise her smile

in the local paper.

 

Wait alone on

the veranda

for that ancient virginity

to awaken again—

for the sound of bare translucent feet

swishing across the forest of a lawn,

shimmers of red and cerulean

to build on the sound 

of my listless humming

and the sound of suns rising somewhere

and falling, later, somewhere else.

 

Swing down 

dangling over

the muggy 

carnival night. Stutter.

 

IT WASN’T—

 

Hang there,

full of promises.

 

Still, build nothing.

 

Take her away

to my somber cocoon.

Find her cherry cola eyes

in the black dark of it all.

 

Lose her. Make her

forget,

but not because of 

mind rot,

 

but because I stopped filling her

with memories.

 

Stutter, stutter.

Lose her. Find her.

Stutter.

Always.

IT STILL ISN’T O— 

 

If she’s a bird,

then what am I?