Unplugged beside the evacuated sea salt you reset, weaning off the elliptical lifetime of April. Today swears off the sum of three hot corners and the gloss of a face you remember some, but not enough of. Come up in the scopic resurrection of a weekend at the beach, still discharging its celebrity months beyond naturalized comfort. Come down inside the bed. Remedial fruit-flies swipe right by the shoulder of what meaning you can currently afford. Next year will account for the difference. At some point, coincidence triumphs, evicting a hypothesis of cause that stayed too long, unwelcome in your apartment. The cats give a rash; the gift basket does not ask you to come back. But the plush revival underwear inherits the mood inside the room, and your heart, mimicking the inability to wake up different every day, as if all things being equal, no thing could ever compare. I study your face which is vulgar and sweet, like the irreducible mystery of cool whip. You are there and yet not at your disposal. The catheter redirects our epic to a park where a secret forensic tenderness overestimates the integrity of lunch. We succeed at the speed of decency, which is the best way to have and give it. There are several things you and I spy; the stranger’s fake ID is the most westerly coordinate of pleasure. Every key is a double invagination of floor-space and ordinary goodness. Recycle the entrepreneurial freeze. Get swept away by your life in miniature. The dioramic East Coast is waiting for your little world to board, propelled by the jetstream of bagels. Like your mother and the sun, you will either die or be absolutely fine. Make hoverboards great again. Make America weep. The air above the flame waves you in, like the approximate equality of August. Some day, someone will remember us pregnant with two twin squiggles in reciprocal piggy-back, flying in the erotic lockstep of dolphins. The invitation in fall is an ornament to the recourse of fun. It brings you back.
Decals of love spit up the dial-tone like nylon prayer flags. You constitute at least one remaining stanza of attachment, putting the lyric on pause with the ethical bedrock of debt. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Her legs upset you, over and over again – a smooth olive tonic on the way to what you can’t touch. I tried you back and got nothing but net-worth; your mattress filled with Camembert. I am perfectly turned on and shut down by the repulsive taste of cream. For instance: your thigh rips open the seminal juice box, splashing face-paint on the taboo of incest and sending my prize to the waiting room. Evening collects in the vending machines where chips somehow ricochet your pain and hesitation escapes through a backdoor oasis in which nothing seems to matter as much as it does at home, or home seems to matter when you’re gone. There is a line that can’t be walked. From the streets to my desk, where I saved your iridescent headshots in a set. A menagerie of chopsticks tests the tenderness of stakes not drawn to scale. It’s exactly what it looks like: most days I imagine myself wrapped around my mother’s ankle, or one of several lesser proxies. Dreams downpay the balance of what can’t be staged in life, where I imagine the force of synthesis to be stoppable by a single disposable contact lens, placed on the tip of a penis. Yours or mine. We keep switching places. How else to felonize the scoliosis of class, or have uncommon consequence in a zero fault state? Very little happened in the time it took to pass from conditions of rain to snow. The sky opened up and watched us waste the day. A barely reflective stretch of cellophane takes your wavy portrait, but can’t remember anything. It is exactly what it looks like. Our non-negotiables are tracing paper and an endlessly replicable nursery.
Crushed particulars line up between your face and its reflection, meeting the binary siren of your nostrils. In a wood booth we do it. Lay down the groundwork for love’s most radical analogy of tragedy and lap up the powdered remains. You reject the dualist premise from your disconnected keppe in defense against the age that lays you down, narrowly able to do anything but look another way. A wave of apologetic shame meets the coast of your face, redirecting the ability to say anything. Eventually your body brings us back. Facts peel off the cue-card in the heat of a weakened agreement, where the catheter redirects our epic to the bed. It’s weird to see you in the subscript, doing laps around the floor and dozing off. If it’s what’s on the inside that counts, then why do we keep saying it? And if time is just the bad math of popular opinion and the look on your face, then why does it hurt you to move? The circumference of recovery descends around your belly like an inflatable tube in the Hudson. The room returns to the sun from your lap as I wait for you to surface at home. Our non-negotiables are hardwood floors and strong family values. I swap my head for your tongue and your storge for my optimistic forecast: our future is clear blue ultra and the furthest thing away from the frame. It looks good from here, where the hills on the desktop are your body’s natural curves. The feelings don’t really go away. That’s just the undertaste of age sneaking in on the slipstream of collaborative fantasy, blurring the ways it makes us weak, inaugurating its laws in the heat. No more clues. No matter how pink, the limit case is inevitably your belly-button. The insides eject a new message: tonight we drink lemonade and do everything twice.
Wendy Lotterman's first chapbook, Intense Holiday, was published in 2016 by After Hours LTD and is available as PDF by request (firstname.lastname@example.org). She lives in New York where she studies comparative literature.