Who am I?
I sign postcards Love, the Bloodless Hyacinths. I sign them Best, your Citronella Candle. I hate mosquitoes, hate them. I will wake my boyfriend from a deep sleep to squash the buzzing. How could something so loud suddenly be so close? Who do I want vibrating near me? I stay up until dawn waiting for a single mosquito to sleep. I read back issues of The New Yorker from the 90s. I move to a dry climate & thin altitude. Everything is real & everything perceived is a fiction of itself. It’s a matter of how much you unload at one time. How much laundry you shove in the washer. I save money by packing my clothing into the machine but my clothing doesn’t get as clean. So sweaters emerge from the dryer with white dog hairs attached. Dear Postcard, this is not how I write poetry. A scene is not glutted. Scenes are pinpricks on a map: the beak of a bird stabbing the water’s surface. Here, a shipwreck. Here, a highway bottleneck. Locations are memories and memories are images and images are reinventions and reinvention is how we hope to transfer our guts. Here, have my guts. They’re warm & will steam your glasses.
Locations flicker by & the I may flicker with them. Like my skin, I leave myself everywhere. Whole selves. To say, I raised a black rooster. To say I took the whir out of the hamper. To say I hold arrows in my sleep instead of mosquitoes. To say I am these people because of emotion. Because emotion locates the words within me. Or vice versa. It is a form of transportation, a form of transference, & passing of the guts. Amoeba, merger, guillotine.
The You is anyone on I’s team. It’s not the taking of blood with bite but the sharing of blood. You and I, we applepick. We gather fists of red-headed leaves. The leaves hang from the tree but the tree is gone. Or the tree is a bonfire. Or the tree is the seat I was asked to leave the day my childhood ditched me. Always more fire, always more blood.
Dear Red Cross, is this pill a blood thinner? Is it pink not red? Do I spread out to avoid a certain exposure? How is five I’s taking off one layer of clothing different then a single I disrobing five layers? Am I afraid of being recognized? This birthmark? This genitalia? Or is there another form of inclusion? Because I steam the vibrating plum in the center of your chest? Because the steam is warm, too.
Yours, like hydra