portion of the artwork for xTx's poetry
Another Nine Eleven on a Day Meant for Me
xTx

I.

Ribbons n bows, ribbons n bows. Pinks, blues, pale pale yellows like butter, lavender like a dying mother’s breath. Kittens tumbling, balls of fur with laughable fangs, hysterical claws. We all want puppies to bite us. We all want to put our tongues into their mouths. Lick their fur. Eat them.

I tackle the breeze. It doesn’t want to be wrestled, but I do it anyway. Eventually it comes around and rolls back, trying to hurt like a brother tries to hurt. I am like, “Oh yeah?” and I punch its guts. The breeze fucks me up some more and I bruise its back, bust its rib. Only one rib for the breeze and it’s made of silverfish bones. It pins me down. Licks my face. Sticks its dick in me. I let it fuck me. It won. I am fucked by the breeze wondering how it all ended up this way. Wondering, “how did I get here?”

When it comes, it tears right through me and I die. I didn’t expect this from such an intangible thing.

A comic book on the floor, open to page nine.


II.

A prince comes to see me. He wants a new princess. I only find this out after a long drawn out story he tells me over hot water tinted with lemon and cayenne pepper. I nod. He is boring. I wake up a little when he starts to cry. I am not rude enough to tell him to get to the point, but I hang in there long enough and eventually it is revealed. A new princess. His is broken. He is sick of all of her dresses. Too much satin. Too much lace. He wants to choke her with her own pearls. The ones he gave her when the love was so strong it was life giving. He starts to cry again but stops it by punching the wall. We both look at his bloody knuckles and he holds my eyes as he licks them clean.

“I can’t make any promises.”

“I will see what I can do.”



I say these things.



I say these things like I know what I am talking about.

“I don’t want a fancy one this time. Bring me one that is broken and knows it.

“I want one who thinks I can fix her.

“I want one who thinks I am her only answer.”

I say, “Give me three days,” and after three days, I come to his door. The palace stairs. I drape myself across his feet, my body wrapped in burlap.

“Here she is,” I say. And when he kicks me like new tires, I know I have chosen wisely.


III.

Rainbows. Hopscotch. Cartoons. Balloons. Full moons. Doubloons.

My heart holds a black umbrella. Look at the way it walks down the street. Floating over the sidewalk like a dainty lady. Keeping out the sun like it thinks it can. Like the sun will never cease to burn delicate things. Stupid heart. Useless umbrella. But the black of it, OH, THE BLACK OF IT! That is the only real thing.


IV.

The writing is the scrubbing. The writing is the scrubbing.


V.

They took my blood on Monday. You wouldn’t care if I had cancer. Had some sort of blood disease. Was dying. You’d still come. Guns blazing. The nurse stabbed me. A thing with a thin thin tube and a plastic splay like a weird butterfly. She punched in vials. I watched them fill. An uncomfortable ache. I knew it would be over and I would be okay. She handed me a cottonball and told me to hold it over the hole. She taped it there. Later, when I took it off, I liked looking at the blood. Like, I survived.


VI.

A bloody clump made of baby in the palm of my hand. Washed in a sink meant for everybody. I slip it into my mouth and roll it around until my tongue knows its shape. I swallow it thinking that if I were a child, I would believe it would grow again, stomach wide, until it needed to breathe air and then, like magic, NO BLOOD, A BABY!

But it goes into my guts and gets shit out like everything else. No better than a hot dog. Some goat cheese, a fingernail.


VII.

We are all a part of this thing we cannot control. We ride the river on this little raft. I am on the river now. I am afraid but at least I know how to swim. At least I like how the dragonflies land on my legs. At least I love the sunshine. At least I don’t mind the branches that hang down low enough to touch the water. At least I can catch fish to nourish my body. At least I can wave to people on the shore. At least they wave back and smile. At least this has been a good journey so far. At least there is a steady, even place after the waterfall. At least scrapes can heal. Water is a good journey. Water is an important thing. I let it find the temperature of my skin and it’s like we are the same, until it turns me over, raft and all, and reminds me that we are not and never will be and I think, “That is respect, right there. Man. That is respect.”


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 35 | Winter 2012