I have never been an artist.
I am California after the Big One,
but you, you are wildflower mountain tops
soaked in June’s soda pop afternoon rain
and my words will never be as beautiful as
the first time my father saw Picasso.
It’s getting to just that side of night
where the black doesn’t quite fit the color wheel
and I cannot detect whether it is all of the colors I am seeing
or if there is some divinely platonic absence.
It’s getting to be that part of the night
where I’m beginning to believe in
ghosts, zombies, God, backseat monsters
and time machines.
I say, I am believing in God as I breathe
You say, We have always been grasping at straws
and my notebooks are full of
desperate attempts to remember
the exact smell of my friends’ backseats
just like you were trying to remember
the exact combination of muscles it took to breathe
and I am dialing phone numbers in hopes that you pick up
and pick yourself up,
because I have never been an artist,
My mouth is filled up with muscles
that extract the kind of movements
that mimic words that are simply
too expensive for my tastes
and I have shelves in my house filled
with books I will never read.
I am finding out how much patience it takes to be God
and you are finding out how much time it takes to die.
And I want to remember the names of every
moon beam that graced your window,
I want to spend days watching your hands
dance across the center console
like old men at weddings
I am forgetting how it is to breathe.
I wanted to believe your eyes were oceans
and my chest cavity was caving in.
Screaming “please, please” accept me into the
over-hanging branches of your blood stream
and don’t sort me out as some kind of disease,
because your voice is the strongest virus I have ever fought against
and I will remember you,
if you will do the same for me.