I was in-between emotions,
the night a tube sock
of doom! Well probably just
boredom! Also that heat!
It was the hinge of my life
maybe, how do I know
until the end what the middle was
and why not that night in Barstow
the butt crack of California
in a Super 8 alone reading a book
of Jing Si Aphorisms found suffocating
the Bible—Even the tiniest bolt
must be screwed on tightly
in order to perform its best
it said and I needed comfort but all
I got was stuck on screwed
which is what I wanted but also how
I felt that summer I did not move
to Portland again, the summer
of almosts, crab grass choking
the hyssop and sage with its homely
greed and who can blame crab grass
for seeing something beautiful
then stepping on its throat.
There are so many tiny murders.
It’s why handjobs were invented
and I am a scientist inventing
new ways to be lonely.
I get bonuses every year.
That year, July was pressing
its mean heat to the door, listening
for a heartbeat inside and I thought
how wonderful to be wanted
through all the meat straight
to the marrow and July said yes
July said whatever it is you are thinking
I am thinking too so I tore off my clothes
to get closer, the book of aphorisms yelling
If we can reduce our desires there is nothing
really worth getting upset about but I don’t like
being told what to do and out of spite
started wanting everything I saw—
popcorn ceilings! Unremovable
hangers! Stains of strangers’ failures!
The room shrugged. The shag carpet
yawned and swallowed my name.