When I drove home from work at 10 PM there was a spider
on the inside of my windshield. I swerved into oncoming traffic
because the spider
and death by speeding headlights
were the same thing. I cried at the red traffic light when I noticed
the blood on my teeth, the cracks in my hands that I tried to wipe
with the dirty dish rag in my pocket. How do you shake off
the shit that gets you screaming, that throws a new voice in your throat
every time your face goes red. I don’t want to know
the difference between lonely and lazy, both leave me on the clothesline
all wire-pinned and dryer cycle spun in circles
when the wind kicks out. I want to go to the circus. I want to breathe
in even ones and twos without my heart punching too fast,
it doesn’t know what it’s doing sometimes
and I can’t control anything that works on speed dials. There’s a reason
I can’t sleep before the morning news shines blue on my forehead.
It’s not that I like watching the weather, it’s that the summer heat
is the least surprising thing that can happen at 6 AM. Some people,
they dream about green eyes and seeing God
in their vacuum marks. Just last night I was taken to the slaughterhouse
by a man in a grey uniform. They say you only dream about faces
you’ve seen in real life. I think this man
rang up my groceries once. He commented on the whipped yogurt
behind the loaf of bread. You know, you’re paying for air, he said. I know,
and I like it that way, I said.
Maybe I’m already lacking in oxygen and this plastic
can of Yoplait is helping me wake all sunny-side without the mask on
in the morning. Maybe this heat chokes my lungs and this yogurt
gives me the breath I need. Even fish need oxygen, and I don’t even have gills.
It’s no wonder he slaughtered me, threw my backbones
in my trunk and maybe drove my car into the English Channel.
He’d get blood on my cousin’s yellow rain coat,
it’s the only thing in the back of my car able to cradle
the weight of these bones. Funny,
don’t think she’d ever wear that again even if the rain
wouldn’t mind washing it off. But I never got that far in the dream.
Seems that after I’m hacked by machete, I never get to know
what happens to the rest of me. If I’m going to die like that
I hope he doesn’t have a plan. I hope
he’s still the supermarket guy as he is in real life
and he hides my ears in someone’s brown bag with the milk
and the Golden Oreos because he’s not really sure what he’s ever wanted to do
with something that wasn’t his own. But I’m awake now,
and he won’t visit until my eyes are closed. So I guess I’ll color-coordinate
my belt collection, take a shower that scalds the bottoms of my feet
and stare at the black of my ceiling
before grinding my teeth in sleep.