Affirmation

Sometimes sleep doesn’t let me forget

Sometimes we’re walking together
while I’m young
Your hair is still red
And you’re married to the police officer
Who is more interested in what it means
to shuck the weight of his two queer brothers
raised in a military household
than what it means to be getting good
or decent
A man who will later empty both of your joint bank accounts
Even though you have two children
and no financial support

He will never worry the way you do
about recourse or revenge
or the recurring fear that those closest to you
will do the most damage

In my dream we are on vacation
Acting like a real family
Like the light from the past has dimmed to
illuminate a sooty semblance of normalcy
Whatever that means
And there is a strange man shooting wily into the night
Gunning hoops through bodies
From the window of his house
Just because he can
or maybe for fun
because that’s what fun means to him

I try to de-escalate
to emphasize the efficiency of death
The permanence of an accident
born from the push of design

You keep disappearing
Walking out of frame
And I fall into a premonition about
Your frustration and desire to be swallowed

I look for you as you pull out an orange bottle
of small blue pills that look like 2-toned Tic Tacs
I don’t recall if I tackle you
or there is an escalation to a shove
But I will sit on your hips
framed in acid wash jeans
accented by white lace
and try to pin your wrists and arms
to the concrete ground
while you fight like a trapped animal
as if you hadn’t already given up
on chewing through your own paw
to fend off death for just a little longer

I knock the pills that match your eyes
to just beyond your feet
and let them scatter while I shout
I LOVE YOU
IT WILL BE OK
JUST HOLD ON
For a small moment I feel high from victory
Even though you look everywhere but at me
I think I can pummel your face with words
the way the Engineer used his fists
to show you how much he cared
Something will surely break through
Your devotion to die will disseminate
like energy pushing a wave to shore

Your boot draws in what I cannot stop
and you effortlessly sidestep restraint
An invisible hand moves the pills to your lips
Suddenly your mouth is blue
and the sky is full of you
but not your body
And I am sitting on an empty house
in a dammed river
on top of a large piece of myself
I will never get back

I knew then
There was nothing you or I could do
This world just wasn’t made for you
and this was my affirmation

You can’t keep the moon full
and you can’t pin a wave on the sand
Pain will change a person
into something you can’t understand

One thought on “Affirmation

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