There is a place in the middle of this tanqueray
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.
we are anchored to our future
to our present
to our person
to our people
sometimes dreaming of another decade
but aching for now.