The Window Man

There was a man cleaning the windows outside at work today.
I could see him from my desk. I spent a minute disregarding
his presence until I could no longer take it. I put my shoes
on and walked over to the window, where from my side I stood
and sternly stared at him. I watched his focus, splashing
cleaner on the window and then meticulously running the
rubber blade of his squeegee down the glass. It felt like
math. His eyes following his actions, until he caught site of
me. He stared back at me. We couldn’t speak to each other if
we tried, not with words. But I stared out at him, behind him
some comforting green screen of blue sky. It was a cookie
cutter blue sky. The kind of sky that almost feels beautiful
because it’s existed in every movie ever. The kind of sky that
almost feels beautiful because you drew it in crayon so many
times as a child. He remained staring before this manufactured
sky, chewing his chewing gum, and I stared back. I watched the
window man as he blew his chewing gum into a big giant pink
bubble and filled it with war stories. He filled it with big,
big fish and the story about the one that got away. He filled
it with the song that played the day he met the love of his
life and the clouds that rolled over the day she passed away.
I had nothing to say back to him except to raise my right
hand, as if I had been exalted by his honesty, as if to say
to him, “Is this not love? The way that we understand that
we are not the same, and that truly we just may never actually
hear each other, but still to say I hear you?” I raised my
hand to say I hear you and he raised his hand to say the same
to me, and pulling the pink bubble from the tip of his lips
he pinched it and floated off into the crayon sky and I
went to gather my things and leave work early because I knew
for sure that this day had nothing else for me.

That One Week Where I Thought I Had The Death Disease

there was that one week
where i believed i had the death disease
i put quarters in every gumball machine
and i chewed so many gumballs
i kissed my lover ferociously
like a tiger, like a cracked out tiger

in some strange twist of events
i still found myself brushing my teeth well
you’d think there’d be a resolve but no
i still found myself valuing brushing my teeth
i also began making my bed
maybe because i thought to myself
well, i’ve got this death disease and my days are numbered
i deserve fresh breath and a well-made bed

i deserved all sorts of things that week
twenty minute breaks at work where i’d just wander
to other floors in the building
pacing like a mindless patient in a psych ward
through other people’s drudgery
i’d wink at strange men
sitting at their desk just trying to feed themselves

i stared out the corporate window at the rocky mountains
and i tried to capture frames of them
blinking erratically as if the optic nerve were a classic polaroid camera
the green foothills, the brown mountains, the white snowcaps
like god saying fuck you, my tiramisu is better than yours
like god saying fuck you, i love you this much
and realizing that every person in my life loves me that much

i used my water cup for soda at tokyo joe’s
i didn’t feel any shame
i stared the assistant manager right in his patchy bearded face
as i slurped down dr. pepper like it was the classiest wine
i looked at him in his eyes and i saw myself
i realized i was the assistant manager at tokyo joe’s
that even in the nucleus of my death dance i didn’t quite know how to be

i wasn’t a communist insurgent overthrowing the capitalist structure
of the world of the everything

i wasn’t death riding in on a pale horse

i simply remained me
my lymph nodes swollen like small galaxy

this didn’t allow me access to the manual on how to universe

it seems it takes time and space and patience to universe
it seems to me that communion with everything is more of a goal
than a possibility
it is still a good goal to have
i thought, as i finished my sample of dr. pepper

as i walked out onto the median of the road
as i straddled the double yellow line of mattering
as i realized that it seems to me i put way too much energy into things
like defiance, or worse yet, self-destruction
as a means to matter

that this is probably not the ways to remain a child
that as ugly as responsibility may seem
as much as we want to believe we are babies in oversized suits
the truth is we are animal skinned drums
that never truly explore the echoes of our sounds unto ourselves
we are too fascinated by the big room to dig deep into the small big room
the one that paces its cage in the haunted marrow of our bones

believing i had the death disease
all that was revealed to me was the mirror of what i wasn’t
all that was revealed to me was gratitude
buckets and buckets of gratitude
my eyes broke down in temper tantrums of gratitude
lying on my bed in antibiotics
i began crying thinking about the way i tried to ring you out of your love
and i promise you this, poem, i will stop trying to weigh love in grams

believing i had the death disease
i spoke frankly each and every day to my mother and father on the phone
who still reminded me i haven’t paid my toll fees
who said yeah you just can’t think about it
and i said okay good luck to me with that
and they said no no no you’ll get it
and i said ok
and all of the phones on this floor kept ringing and ringing
so i just kept saying ok ok

Mayday

it was crazy, really
the way that we sat talking stoned in your basement
the way that these words that we thought tasted like sweet ginger kombucha
poured out of our mouths like turpentine
muddying our naked bodies frictioning like flint

it was crazy the way we burned down
and the whole time we burned down
we yelled and whispered “i love you, i love you”
again and again until our bodies gave out

the whole time we burned down
the carcasses of deer dissimulating into the dirt
a fast motion video of ten thousand worker ants
hounding the occasion to taste the sweet remnants of the moment
but us born again small in their bellies
but ten thousand times over
but love

but there’s so much stubbornness in early May to be had
spring is a pushy little bitch

and then we were disappeared
too everywhere to feel anything other than everything
and in the everything was a call to arms to push through your madness
to push through my own madness
to find out what lies on the other side of all this madness
even knowing the answer is more madness

and every ounce of moon rock that we pulled from each other’s skin
by the force of our own separate gravities
every ounce of ocean that we precipitated into little cartoon clouds above our heads
every ounce of green honesty flourishing like feathers in your eyes
told me what i already knew because you’d told me so many times

what you’d told me so many times
as i maybe foolishly argue that love and freedom are the same thing

what you’d told me so many times
that i’m so busy thinking about the winter in the heart of the spring

The Apple Store

I walked into the apple store and asked the man if I could buy an apple.

He told me no.

I said that isn’t fair.

I want to buy an apple.

He said to me “well, I don’t want to sell you an apple.”

At this point, another someone walked by and the man gave them an apple.

“Well, just give me the apple,” I said to the man.

“No,” he said again.

“Why?” I said.

“Why not?” he said.

“I’m hungry,” I said to him.

“You should work on not being hungry,” he said to me.

“That’s precisely what I’m trying to do,” I said to him.

“No,” he said, “you’re trying to be full.”

“Same thing,” I said.

“Not at all,” he said.

“I want to speak to the manager,” I said to the man.

“I am the manager,” the man said.

“Well then, I want to speak to your boss,” I said.

“I am my own boss,” he said.

“You can’t be your own boss,” I said.

“Yes you can,” he said, “you would understand that if you weren’t so hungry.”

“Well, I’m going to be hungry until you give me that apple,” I said.

“I guess you’ll always be hungry,” he said, biting into the apple.

I left the Apple Store and sat on a bench outside beneath the sun, which just laughed at me as I cried. Then I laughed and the sun cried, and then after quite some time and a decent spell of boredom, I decided not to be hungry anymore and I wasn’t.