Nighttime Diving

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.

 

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