this is a prayer for the borderlands,
the edge has its own space to make place
out of neither this nor that. for mike, 77-03, who we call juice here
so, about mike. he always shows him self right round this time. god damn sirius in the sky, dog sky dog days on the dog roads, peninsula lone and in a hold beach city back log slog funk hammerin the air the air the air airtime a steam chug pollutant tree breath stuck muck wet breath respirating, we a baltimore dream~an that’s before the liquidity of sars in the lung sacs. it’s july here, how it’s always been. he killed himself in july. i come out of target and there. he lives heat fumes on the melty tar. black girl back against the brick wall hair twisted up do-rag also in hanging off shower cap got that one knock-eye snarln at the ground and a death row tee shirt, the old ass kind w tupac looking right back. just after he’d been singing at me on the walk in to the target too i won’t deny it ima straight ridahhh….
the word comes back later in the week. deliah’s brain tumor is benign. it is a dark ride, a dark start to a dark tide. god laughs at me, after two years, makes it clear too: now! this now is your rebirth. wtf. the first time mike comes at me it is after my first time on the road–not the first, that was with him ok? but the first walking the circle, the circle walk, circles of circles, this the walk i started back the year you and i first met. after. after the july i first lost kev. pink boom box hole on cassette. i didn’t tell you about it but that’s what i was singing last week in florida. the day it first came, the it–dis embodime(n) IT when i knew kev would go and i’d be left. by that winter i learned the circles. never walked them on the road til then tho green mountain national forest blessed the rocks that mark the directions. i tampened the orbs around me the protection between this world and that. i was with a brown eyed boy with brown hair too young for me, too old in his soul. not like you, not like the many lives of me in you. not like you, for the next
the next day across southern vermont the butterflies next to where we were parked made the perfect four corners. butterflies led us from there. to zebulon, the bats, first the crows. that’s how this starts, with him, which was all the way back to the summer before when they first started to speak. which is all the way back to salsipuedes in 97 losing grammy, nic, trippin on mushrooms & cowgirl dancing pagan rastas kind bud brownies burritos, shooting stars. suicide mountain. crows talk human talk most don’t know. mike came. for me, the first time there under those black bird trees. new hampshire, cuban cigars. the first time it was for sure. the dead talked undead.
now i knew.
buffalo girl won’t you come out tonight how i muss this up w papaw’s old john wayne utah all night driver in my head; the headlights the headlights the painted desert isn’t the same as the mussed up red rocks at magic hour the headlights shoot bright light through my cornea all the way through to the sweaty neck lodged there broke between beneath beyond/ my legacy, ol my darlin oh darlin oh my darrrrlin clementine/ the cops trail me out of california on 50 into nevada, certain i have bud/ certain
the other side. i put a camouflage hat on and protect our troops sticker on my truck bought at the first walmart i see. i never catch heat a single time again 2900 miles til home. in utah when 50 goes to 70 i get motion sick and my skin sits atop my own derma shaking cuz it’s not at all mine. oh, that fuckn hi way. of the dead. the dead do talk, the dead do. next time it’s badlands, full moons, open mine pits, black hills. it’s all the same but not at all, that was 16 years ago that was 5 years ago that was 97 23 years it’s been the backward talk the backward clock upon the wall crow talks cross tongued black eyed tortured backward talk, then still now, the land, chokes and screams calls and chokes and nothings yet, nothings undone. cept, it all. puts thick air torture tongue summer wall. of green growth, liquid in the lungs, it was past and before that a long, long torture tongue slang death dance rattle jungle skeletal walk a jumble, voo doo in the lodge hut in the crater grate out back in the grease sludge funk in the mason dixon old line tank, in the pirate chest i all but was/n’t out back still i was. still a long time fuckn dead. i’m not now. it was a staff they wanted of me, and the crystal i found on buffalo land and didn’t have it in me to take? shew am i glad for that, now. black wolf emaciated didn’t need to eat no more off that taken grassland vow. then. or now.
black! dark purple indigo blue black
i was grateful when he came back, we are done, down now. off suicide mountain. no more zebulon. he came to let me know, it’s ok. i walk, hop, beak to beak to beak the words flow. speak. fall, draw. down. i. trust. crow.
he wants me to tell you about the painted desert. petrified wood. it was dusk in a dusk sky townless town, the purple grey blue marble permanence canyon land all around. he had this terrible hat and i loved him for that. he was a camouflage king, never more certain than he was of the opposite he’d need. zebras, stripes, stories, this town. this i now understand. i remember him, throwing rocks into the the open gap of earth. those canyons go on for ever, swallow the underworld, eat the rebirth. i was jealous of him and lizzie. they weren’t even doing it yet but i could tell it would, they would have it happen, and also there was a joke we would all tell that had to do with trading my car for an el camino. this came after that, how the petrified desert was the first of the west, the best of us all, entry way and goodbye at once. i trekked out in the dusty dust of the grey dry desert, my flip flops were see through purple plastic, my feet sweat dirt in trails between my toes. there was a downed telephone pole sunkheld in the ground. that night we stayed in the desert, the peepers came out there was life unseen all around. i got drunk with the man across the way in the rv bc he gave me cheap beer. i didn’t wear bras then and he stared at and the drunker he got talked about my tits. “my two little puppies.” i was embarrassed. we were there looking for area 51. the next day we’d find roswell, the cafe and the five and dime there, all of which was weird which also made it really fun. i felt like a chicken. the rubber kind, head chopped. and dumb.
he is my secret keeper. the one who knew my heart
but at all.
i miss him for this.
i hope he knows.
not is. was.