4 by sasha fletcher
you are a beauty and i am alright
I told you to pretend that I was attractive
and it worked. I took your hand in mine
and we walked to the punch bowl
and punched someone in the mouth. We went
for the easy joke with pride. We went
for the door with great purpose. After that
we started a life. We stacked wood in piles
like they were birds. We call this a cabin
because that is what it is. There is a radio in the corner
and it is playing static all night long
because that’s the only station we like
and there are whole nights
where I could pull my limbs off
and knock all of your teeth out
because I just love you so much.
You tell me to try it. You dare me.
Upstairs the night sky is a stampede of horses
just begging to be broken. I tell you
to hike up your dress and show me your legs
your knees your thighs and everything in between
and when you do
the whole world collapses around us
and we finally learn the meaning of love
it was right there in front of us the whole time.
It was so obvious
that I am not even going to talk about it.
I have been hard at work upon a lecture regarding the meaning
of life and death as it relates to i) friendship ii) the particular despair
that causes one to feel completely alone when surrounded
by hundreds of friendly vikings
and iii) the ever-welcoming glow
of the all-you-can-eat buffet. I promise you
that this lecture will be heartfelt
and full of sympathy and also wisdom, plus it will contain directions
to the portal that takes you to the land of the dead
where a tall man in an even taller hat sings sweetly each night.
He sings O Darlin I am far from home
but I can hear you singing me a song
about how I’ll never see you again
and our tears will fill the tubs that all our feelings finally die in
and when I tell you this I’ll be crying
and that is just fine
because real men weep openly.
This is how come there are oceans
and if you don’t like it then you can all just go ahead
and forget about it. Maybe afterwards we can meet up for a drink!
I will be the guy in the corner wearing his jawbone
like a tiara and looking
like the loneliest man who ever lived
and not one of you will be able to say
that you did not love me then, in that instant,
if only for a moment.
I am going to take you to the notary
and get you notarized. I plan to appear before you
as death itself
all dressed up like a skeleton
and riding into town on a skeleton horse
or some other form of dirt bike
and then I am going to sing to you. I am going to sing to you
about how I have never loved a soul before like I love you now
and other sweet nothings
is an album I am thinking of recording.
Its cover is going to be a picture of you
and dressed up like a ghost.
I am open to suggestions
is a good joke I could tell you
if you were the kind of person who liked jokes.
The fact that you are not the kind of person who likes jokes
is one of my least favorite things about you.
My favorite thing about you is how you remind me of the days
when our hopes and dreams just tear themselves apart.
I mean picture this: The sun is rising up in the sky
and setting flame to the procession,
that one, right there,
and we are standing hand in hand and promising each other things
that will never be repeated
and I have put five hundred children in your belly
and you are getting prettier by the minute
and we are in a speedboat sailing the asphalt seas of parking lots
with our five hundred children
each one of them somehow causing us to love every one of them even more
until our hearts have grown other hearts to handle the load
and what more can we say here
except that the boat crashed and the children
were swallowed up by the parking lots
and they all died and we never saw them ever again
and that is the best way I can think
to describe how I feel when I look at you.
feel good event of the summer
The president decreed that we the people should try not to feel terrible
so that bandits do not come and cut off our faces to wear as masks
while they kidnap our children and raise them as their own.
The president said Our children are a national treasure.
He said Our children are the gilded icebergs of our hearts.
He said Who wants fireworks? And we all said I DO.
SASHA FLETCHER is author of the forthcoming poetry book it is going to be a good year (Big Lucks Books 2015), one novella, and several chapbooks of poetry (including dear gloria, dear madeline, dear siobhan, dear ethel, dear eloise, dear wendy, dear becky, dear lisa, dear liza, dear michelle, dear tamika, dear tanya, tonight (Big Lucks Books 2014)).