tanqueray flights

by lizriggs

jakob-owens-209005

There is a place in the middle of this tanqueray

bombay

sapphire jewels spinning through the melting ice

where I navigate the neutrality

the quotidian moments of adulthood

so tedious in their beauty.

a dish stacked on top of a bowl, beige with wildflowers.

a dog leash, fraying and yellow.

hung upon a hook slowly loosening itself from the wall.

The way the light comes through the cheap blinds

slanting towards your face

mouth agape. Changing, sometimes. The same, mostly.

your chest, rising and falling, always checking:

Are you still alive?

You’re still alive.

We’re still  alive.

I lie awake,

wondering what I would do if—

sweating for sleep, the xanax and wine and wandering prayers.

swirling in spotted memories.

there is a strangeness

to our recent selves.

where the light up dance floors

and tongues of strangers

bleed into nostalgia and disillusionment

and remind us that

we were young once

and we are young always.

that the shots of citrus liquor

can only keep us satisfied until sleep.

There will always be the people before.

The cross country flight,

ending in crying drives down Sunset, weaving toward Beverly Hills–

to the soundtrack of a high school band, on our way to Malibu.

Will I just be another story, I ask?

He’s just another story, I say.

The trains in Chicago and the blackout nights of trying to keep up.

I picked a cubs hat off of the street corner-

I wore it the first night I met you.

4 a.m. scrabble and the vodkastick floors of bars we now refuse to step into.

The L overhead like a tornado of lust and drunken slumber parties.

It’s 5 oclock in the morning and we should all shut up.

The backstage passes and times we threw our bras on stage:

In cities our parents didn’t know we were in.

Of all the stories that came before-

microcosms of a former life.

pieces of our current life.

wholly flawed and completely in tact.

tethered to those times with ropes of our senses and the sounds of every flight taking off the ground.

and yet

we are anchored to our future

to our present

to our person

to our people

sometimes dreaming of another decade

but aching for now.

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