Parade – Scott Litts

Even then, even now I am constantly thinking of them— innumerable souls, it’s said, and reprehensibly neutral angels, but I don’t want to hear about angels anymore— gnashing their teeth, placeless and howling at everything in particular, clawing at the gates of hell, having been locked out for refusing the world, their lives, and themselves of each other. They are the ones, there, with words rotting inside them. Now I want you to think of things that hulk with themselvesness, that stand their ground, dig their heels impressively down into the earth. I am cultivating something subtle, glorious, and suprisingly normal in a greater historical context. I want to teach you how to forget to read. Think of these, beyond specific laughters or eyes or the feeling of a neck, and sit with me. I am reconstituting a blinding white ecstasy, please, press into me like the back of my hand, like memories exceeding, held in loving arms ameliorating and loving more strongly I will love more strongly.

And you grabbed my face, looked at me and conveyed every emotion all at once, but I’ve forgiven that, forgiven everything. I have always preferred to be alone. Your words are like spike-tipped objects shattering the windshield of a hot car and releasing more dogs than you would think could fit into a hot car and they pant and roll in damp grass. You assumed too much of me and I’m flattered and ridiculous and now you’re sobbing and laughing and cumming and days are collapsing into dusks and dusks are collapsing into nights and I have no desire to sleep but I never watch the sunrise anymore. Life pulls me along this way and I write it all down every day, all day to try to stop it from slipping through my fingers, stop it from passing as if it were nothing, meaningless, a shameful waste of everything I could have cared for and I will not let this happen I will not let myself miss anything more than I need to to keep myself from growing callous. It pulls me like a dog and I write it all down in a little brown notebook with my pen, with my hands, and I read it back to myself, on the subway, at work, at school, in my car, when I think about people and I try to make it slow down enough that I can wrap my arms around it and hug it like it deserves to be, like it only ever should be and I am too far away and you are too far away but slowly, slowly and with great care she leafs through papers, notes, lean scrawlings and smudged ephemera, she writes, organizes manuscripts, cuts with pens and divides with scissors, seethes holes into them, puts words inside herself, breaks more deeply into things and with time falls, falls further and more willingly than before, breathing slowly still and calmly with fingers in my hair she asks me and I tell her, and she lays her head on the pillow at night and breathes as if complete, full, as if having done right, as if having chosen correctly for once and for all time now quiet, finally quiet like no quietness has ever been she lays her head on the pillow, rests into sleep, actual sleep, and with unlabored breath gives way to unmoored dreams, unwronged places, presses up against them and into them and exists unseparate, consubstantial in embrace, again and again these places whole, empty but unvacant, space for movement, time for everything entire and without the press of urgency. The park is green and full of indeterminate wildness no longer strange and we walked slowly and not between bursts of tentative audacity across the quiet and totalizing calm which only ever feels unattainable and impossible until it comes then and now, on the first day of spring with every window open in bed laughing and sunlight, noiseless cascades of sunlight, that elusive calmness is there everywhere all around us and extending backwards into the past to justify, justify, justify every single misery suffered, every moment now unwasted, redeemed as necessary to arrive here and extending further still endlessly forward with a strength that does not make sense.