Sunday, November 4, 2012

killing the messenger


I’ve been trying to pray for sleep.

But then mid-prayer I get caught up in this kind vicious cycle of fear and forgetting to show fear because in terms of collateral damage, I’ve got heaps and heaps of victims that I can’t dispose of---like empty mascara tubes and illegible receipts from diners where I bought fried chicken and ambrosia---corpses of those wounded in battle that don’t fit down the disposal in the kitchen sink. Try to understand, I was a child who realized too young that rainbows and hurricanes are made out of the same stuff.

What kind of cruelty do I deserve? And what kind of revenge will I get?

Maybe this will be a mercy killing of teenage virgins, putting them out of their misery because, yes, biology tests and leg hair and chapped lips were really worth dying over. Make me the kind of martyr that is pressed and dehydrated between the pages of a thick book, a Lily of the Valley, a daffodil, a blood orchid breathing labored hallelujah’s into an oxygen mask, yes,I have never confessed it but my grasp of gravity is limited to where you are and how far away I am orbiting you. 

You are a junk-food darling, a saccharine sacrifice of hot oil and hot plasma, sticky and cloyingly sweet in the frying pan, butter spitting and burning at the bottom, an elixir of sugar and trans-fat. My own health has never really concerned me---because I know that at eighteen-years-old, plagued by nothing except for split-ends and my indecision---I am immortal, God’s golden-headed bitch-gift to America, and for this reason, I have let you emaciate me: I am hungry, I am thirsty, I am exhausted, I am sick. I am waiting and waiting for birds of prey and paradise to descend, to render me flightless. I feel like I deserve everything. 

I feel like I deserve everything, even you, Pixie Firecracker Love Song that I've never even spoken about, much less written poetry for. But somehow deserving and obtaining have different definitions. I don’t get you. I can’t get you.

Because, yes, you are a scab-picker, a cheater, a roadkill beauty saturated in your own blood but my gosh you can sing, you are the convicted and the executioner, god of small and injured things, a hunter’s still-warm bounty---bagged and bloody---Your skin. Your skeleton. You are a small, nuclear miracle, a scientific anomaly of heartstrings too brittle and hair too pretty to be so deadly, devastating mothers and their fair daughters, sore-throated and craving caffeine in the morning, lonely caged in the delicate glass towers of your bedroom where you never considered breaking anything besides your own will to survive; you are a hot, dry summer of drought and famine but you appeared to me like a desert mirage of rain and sacrament, godspeed and hunger-pangs; my sin, my seditionist.

And I was baptized where you breathed on me, my skin glowing holy with the rasp of your voice and your half-hearted pleas for forgiveness. “Please, tell me everything. Please, tell me everything.”

To skin and be skinned, flayed alive, it was nothing like the glitter-crusted sacrilege that was preached to me on daytime television by a glowing teen icon, promised even, like somehow I deserved adoration because I did my homework and put my fingers in books to mark my place when you said my name, and I'd look up without fail, there was no priority waitlist when you were breathing nearby, hands curled into the fists you never fought with and eyes cast upon your loyal subjects, yes, even your servants and princes, the ones who begged you not to go and in turn begged you to go because you were too bright to look at, reflecting off of their clean metal cages, and every one of them that fell at your feet you kissed on the bruise before handing over to Lucifer, not your master but your parole officer, we all know that no one you touch ends up whole.

And this is for every word I stammered over in the prelude to my born-again conversion to your faithlessness when I tried to explain that, yes, I have burned bridges---if that’s what you call the lovers that never needed me---it's for every star in the solar system that I hung from my fingernails that I taunted and tamed you with. Because we made our own salvation from a cardboard cross, counting quarters for atonement and eating the cracker crumbs at the bottom of the box as Communion, Hail Mary, Hail Mary. If this comes across as blasphemous, you’re not listening to me. It's a prayer to get some sleep.

I’m seduced by apologies and applause, I am afraid of the dark, everything that I love glitters in the sun.

And so this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, not even with whimper, but with a dial tone. 

Corporate America is heaven.
-Avery Jalaine