I’m opening another before I’m finishing, with no reliable internet, with a paperclip to up & down the zipper on my green coat, with you except you’re not you & you’re wherever you are, in an apartment full of me & my quiets, in a city full of the kind of air that will leave you behind. I wake up full of windows & flowers—I did not dream of the thing we talked about when we talked last. I dreamt of an arrow, which was in the shape of a tree, & it went straight through the sun.
It Will Shock You How Much It Never Happened
The first sentence is a play on Saturday with Harmony. Tonight, there is a scene with Peggy in her hospital bed where she lies & wins my heart. I like thinking about scenes & hospitals & beds & lies & hearts. I believe you believe in change because you want to. I’m thinking of us hungover on the sidewalk in front of a parade—it reminds me to remember silence is the kindest, saddest, most-lived truth.
Is It Milwaukee?
The first sentence is a dream in a restaurant with an old friend, a stranger, my parents, & pink lighting. There are two tables & three menus: vegetables, meats, drinks. I sit inside a closet with the door shut for a second before I open it & ask the lady (dressed in black, with sunglasses on, sitting by herself) to swap places so my mother & father would have room to sit (the closet is tinier than the dining room, which now includes an extra table). The chef is the owner & he bangs into me coming through the kitchen door. He has great hair & makes me laugh & my parents nervous even though I’m straight. Matt, the chef, & I are playing music. I’m the one just dancing la la la. Matt explains he is transitioning. The chef is in the window with a guitar then writhing on the floor then I’ve upset Matt. I wake up just after Matt kicks in the door behind the door in the fluorescent restaurant.
There are spots everywhere—spots on my hands, spots on Paul Newman, spots on spots on spots. I wake up at an uncertain time every day: I wake up, believing in myself, & get the fuck on with it. There are children everywhere. I hate it. I don’t eat animals but I do not love them either. There are spots everywhere. Who is a man? Who isn’t? I keep washing. I have always liked the name Margot. Can you drink in the hospital of your mind? I bought you flowers before I knew you. I buy me something else.
I want to ask you things on the fifth floor. I mean something. I believe in umbrellas & walking & glasses. I believe the job of your life is to know yourself. I remember: you walked up to me & I walked up to you. We said hello almost at the same time. I took a job. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another. I took another.
Parker Tettleton is a vegan Leo living in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of Ours Mine Yours (Pitymilk Press 2014), Greens (Thunderclap Press 2012), & Same Opposite (Thunderclap Press 2010). More information can be found here.