Johnny,/ In truth there is
In truth there is so much to write about, so much to forget. I am still leaving my jewelry behind—earrings on nightstands, rings on pianos. Each calendar has one more day on it or is it one less day on it or is it that we have stopped using calendars altogether. I go through your body like a train. I trim my hair over the bathroom sink. I have sex and watch in mirrors. We are combining words, or creating letters, or talking in phrases. Don’t bother brushing your hair; it won’t help. At some point, I stopped counting days, and moved to full moons. One yellow light bulb turns the room pink. I explore timing. I cross my legs in a waiting room. The clock. I’d like to forgive everything; everyone is a cactus with deliberate needles, so eager for friendship and quick to punish. I flip ahead in notebooks to be reminded of a blank page. I am dilated and the world is different. Apology is easy, like slipping my hand in yours. Each day can go in so many different ways. Surprise! A mirror. The fact is your body changed and so did mine. The house sounds like crying. I am always thinking about what is being worn underneath. Let’s measure this closely. I am ready to mark up my body. If not your mouth then. If not your nails then. Literally my lips licking. My lips liking. Literally my lips lipped. Take my body apart. This. Are you thinking of me. Being the verb of it. The city is a geography of where we made out or highways we drove in silence. Subway tracks are the opposite of silence. Arbiters of false hope. Let’s first list each thing we’ve ever done. I love. How many others are out there thinking of me. I would have. I would have loved. I would have loved you. Like a darling pomegranate. Wreckage, a present. The carelessness with which I perform. The glass rim. Waking is difficult. To awaken. To forge ahead and create. Feeling is easy. Not easy to remember. What if we are the same people meeting over and over. What if I am meeting the same person over and over. How to keep secrets. Away. No coffee in four days. It sounds amazing but is also the truth. Everything here is the truth. Moments of your pale skin. In the museum, three sisters sitting on a chaise. In the morning, there isn’t. In the park, benches. A tiny orange spider. Movements of privacy. I adore large sounds like the tuba. Rename this ache. I adore large instruments like babies. Corporeal dissipation. In a qualitative manner we try. I think you would like me if you watched me in the mirror while I cut my hair. Hush. I might be. My legs. Where can there be this moment of how the moment can be. Fall, a season. If alone, then alone. Everything is happening and nothing the same has changed. Here beneath my skirt.
“Johnny,/ In truth there is” is from a series of “Dear Johnny” poems inspired by the coinage of phrase “the Dear John letter” in the 1940s.