Landfills

Landfills
are so severed
from oxygen
that if you were to
dig to the bottom of one
you’d find 1975 newspapers
in mint condition

I want to find today still crisp
40 years from now
I want to find
the honey sky
getting stuck in her hair
to find her elbow gently forgiving
letting her hand jet across the page
like someone trying to make a yellow light

I tried to make a yellow light
driving home from her house last week
after I breathed her lavender skin
while she filmed soap bubbles
circling the drain
and kept me in that orbit all night

So by the time
the police officer
approached my car like a drain stopper
I didn’t care enough
to slip into my nervous
or to stop the swirling

I want to trace her shadow
on the sidewalk
while it’s still tinged with orange
I want to clear the shadows
from her bedroom floor
with a hand-broom
I want to hold both of her hands
While we bask in this neon brilliance

We sat in that Mexican restaurant
For hours or days
and we weren’t worried that we hadn’t paid for the food yet
because the waitress must’ve known
that we were somewhere we couldn’t come back from
unless we moved through it

Four months ago
we sat at a coffee shop table
and tried to answer a prompt
about moving through things

And I think that answers
come later when you need them more
they come four months later
in a sunset
when you have better words for the colors
and it makes you write your wrist clean off
until you realize
you haven’t taken a sip of water
In seven months
and you’ve run out of paper
so you’re writing on the walls
and the ceiling
and the parts of your back
that you have trouble reaching

I’ve always wondered
about people with back tattoos
if their needle and dead skin dances
were choreographed for themselves
or for everyone walking behind them

Maybe the answer
will come to me 40 years from today
when I’m walking behind a woman
in a backless dress
Whose tattoo finishes my sentence
better than I ever could have

Or maybe I’ll drop a gum wrapper
and finish a sentence
with the word “trident”
for the man writing a memoir about his father
who always wanted to be a merman
so he wrapped his legs in saran wrap
and jumped into the lake a mile from his house

I want to pick up this moment
like a gum wrapper
see that the sky
is starting to yawn
and that she is honey drenched
At this point

Four months ago
we sat at a coffee shop table
and tried to answer a prompt
about moving through things

The question
that itched in the back of my throat
was answered
with my hand in her hair
and our backs on the concrete oblivion
later that night

I want to find that night in mint condition

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