Friday, October 2, 2009

human the death dance by buddy wakefield

i cried when i first read this. 

On the face of her phone
Wileen programs a message to herself
so that when the alarm clock rings
the screen flashes: 

Jordan tattoos the words 
in thick black letters 
down the inside of his arm 
so that when he looks at his wrist 
he will remember not to hate himself so much.
What they both keep forgetting 
is there is life after survival.

After Dave left 
Mary started sticking her face 
between the film projector 
and the movie screen 
so that when the credits roll 
she still gets to be somebody.

When Tara’s past comes back 
she mashes chalk into the sidewalk 
until her knuckles bleed. 
She scribbles and scrapes 
and scribbles and scrapes 
until the words take shape 
and this is what they say 
I wanna die motherfucker
die DIE motherfucker.
hold tight if I love ya 
cause it might not last long.

we’re all gonna die. 
That’s the exciting part. 
It’s learning how to live for a living.
there’s the tricky stitch. 
Just ask Denise 
whose family taught her when she came into this world 
that Family equals Love 
so Denise took that seriously 
but after a lifetime of craving acceptance from their cruelty
she now finds herself jamming polaroid pictures of these people into a typewriter 
and pounding out the last letter of the word mercy 
over and over again. 
She strikes the key Y. 
Y? Y? Y? Y? Y?!

And the answer? 
The answer comes in the form of a hand written letter from the moon.
that says: 
This is brutally beautiful. 
So are we.
This is endless. 
So are we. 
We can heal this.
Crater Face 
P.S. See me for who I am. 
We’ve got work to do.

But my father
he didn’t read moon 
he didn’t speak moon 
and he didn’t write moon
so there was no note left next to his body
when he chose to leave this world on purpose 
without telling us where he was goin’ or why.
There are still days you can catch me 
tape recording eternal silence 
and playing it backwards for an empty room 
just so I can listen to his dying wish.

it’s true,
and the apple  
it doesn’t fall too far from the tree, 
but thank goodness my family tree 
was in an orchard on a hill 
that rolled me to the river 
and that river ripped me through the rapids 
and those rapids 
rushed me into this moment 
right here right now 
with you 
at the mouth 
This is my church 
And if church is a house of healing 
hallelujah welcome 
come on in as you are 
have a look around 
stay out of my porn.

There are massive stacks of bad choices in my backyard. 
Clearly I have not yet reached enlightenment beyond a few fleeting moments 
but I’m tryin’ 
and I found somethin’ here I want ya to have. 
It ain’t much 
just a story 
but it’s all I’ve got  
so take it.
It’s called Dillon.

Dillon’s drug of choice was more 
so he took more 
and more 
until the day he woke up 
babbling in a pool of his own traffic jam 
realizing he is killing off the best parts of himself 
and claiming he could read people’s skin. 
When he looked down at his heart flap 
it read Boy, go find your spine and ride it outta here.
Wileen’s gut said Day 1 
Jordan’s arms: FULLY FORGIVEN 
Mary’s face: The 
Tara’s knuckles: Healing. 
Denise’s fingertip said C? 
And Dillon said my smile it said Fix it
so I came back here to the mouth of the river 
to look at my own reflection under the moonlight 
and see what it says for myself 
where down my whole body 
it is written 
See me for who I am. 
We’ve got work to do.

As for Crater Face,
I can’t speak for that guy. 
His skin 
brutally beautiful 
handwritten letter 
from the sun.

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