In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage
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Today I feel better, because I woke thinking everything that disappears from the planet
might reappear somewhere else. The thought was grand at first. I imagined the dodo,
silly and lost forever, still alive in some other dimension. Inevitably, though,
the thought became smaller. I tried to save it by imagining the dodo’s core
ingredients recycled and assimilated into otherness: absorbed by predators or
scavengers, turned into dirt. I began to care less about form. If my body broken into atoms
still exists, then the loss of my body is not a true loss,
for I was only briefly human.
Yesterday, when I woke, I felt not so good, because I realized that every day the possibility
of my sleeping with two women at the same time diminishes.
A sad thought
first thing in the morning. It only proves how ridiculous thinking can be:
the wrong thought can waylay all other plans and send one into a daylong daydream
about Porno World, where the best career you can have is plumber or pizza-delivery guy.
And now I am sad once again because it is unpleasant to realize that both thoughts carry
equal weight in my mind: a world where nothing dies because everything still exists,
and a world where beautiful women call you up to fix their television but decide
they’d like to fuck you instead. I thought of their mouths on my body, and also I
thought of the dodo being not extinct but opening
a fragment of sky low to the horizon — even the air at our feet is sky —
and stepping through into dodo heaven, becoming the dodosattva, but still
essentially a large, flightless bird, easy to catch, pleasant of taste.
Now it occurs to me that even if the dodos came back, I wouldn’t be happy for long.
And even if two bisexual roommate stewardesses suddenly ravished me midflight,
eventually I would want more than that — more mouths, more women —
and even smothered under the weight of their passion somehow I would want more flesh, less air.
Nothing ever goes away enough or arrives enough,
and I want to cry when I think of my heart,
muscle pounding in muscle, greedy always for joy.
The needle goes in
the groove, and “Please, Mr.
Postman” becomes my first dance
at ten years old, with my teenage baby sitter — for mercy’s sake
I won’t name her — who held my young hand
over my head and said, Now spin. Now spin,
even after the music had stopped, laughing
until I threw up
all over her room.
I know the science.
The eyes tell the brain the body is stationary,
but the tiny oceans inside the ears
say the body is still
so the brain, longing always for solutions, says,
Oh, it must be the room that is spinning.
we see is a lie, and so is what we feel, and yet
both lies remain
our nearest truth, or at least
as true as the 7-Up, the towels, and the fresh T-shirt
the baby sitter brought forth
as apologies. Fearful they weren’t enough, she leaned close
and opened my mouth
with her tongue. Don’t tell. I understand
this moment of human weakness. I forgive it,
the way I forgive my brain — not
friend, not enemy, only confused
by the relentless
stimuli, the nonstop data, the
dizzying music of the world.