They Will Sew the Blue Sail

The Sick City | Amy Lawless

If something bad happens, where do you turn?

By turning, a lot can happen, but it can take a long time.

We turn in slow motion.

These hollow years we crane our necks, leaning.

Don’t miss one tiny, itsy, little, important bit!

When you turn toward someone, a secret undoes.

Its petals puke forth from my gentle wound mouth.

I think of the whole city I left

its germs of regret and failure cams.

I think this in a city I move through with more adult problems, more failure.

The loneliness felt at age sixteen these words fell onto my journal: Dear diary, I don’t get it.

Dear diary, I am so alone.

Spoken in the mock meek voice of a boneless, amorphous spinster.

Take the 38 or the 51, the Needham Heights line from Roslindale Village to Back Bay,

or the Orange Line to Forest Hills. The head would turn left to see the approaching vehicle.

But I left the hometown. The beach chairs are folded up in the cellar.

It’s been ages since I groped in the dark for my R’s.

Now I throw on my trill shades, hold to temporary and lasting friendships, but sleep alone.

My arrowcursor touches many faces,

but the darkness candle lit in Boston stalks my feet.

Dear Diary, I still don’t get it.

I’ve felt the love in heat with learned hotheads, blaming denim shirts in the night.

A manic teen’s fragrant sticker portfolio. I have a lost cashmere statue’s dedication.

We are looking at apples. I proffer some fucked up shit, question every move.

How many dollar beers does it take? How can I be ethical and also love? You’re no detective.

On TV everyone is on one trajectory towards a steamy sleepless night.

I’ve not been shredded lately.

I want to paint you with your fingers until the darkness lit in Boston gives me brand new feet.

A phone leak: phone calls like they’re normal. I know who I love, but it’s never convenient.

I know the story that I tell. It’s no lamer than yours.

Let me go through your skin organ: below the chains and above the organs.

Below the clothes and over the skin.

Let me go over your life’s work: I’m holding your brain and crying.

Admiration and creepiness and admiration and creepiness and walking backwards I exit

through the same door through which I arrived: a nod, a step, a nod toward a step.

The devil can pass right through us if you use more than one door.

My Nana was full of this kind of shit. But I will not go back in my Mama’s vagina.

No this isn’t my kind of autopsy: I’m alive burning.

It’s crazy to think this way by continuing to associate with the dying or dead.

It doesn’t matter: I’m prodigal.

I’m in the sick city making love. With whom?

I’m in the sick city making love to an idea.

I’m in my grazing years but holding no gold or inheritance.

And I won’t. There’s no beautiful material to lose.

I wouldn’t say any of this if my body won Gold in the touching Olympics.

I’d like to put you in a sling and swing your broken hand back and forth shaking it.

That hurt? How about that? Does that hurt? How about right here?

I’d like to put you in a hammock, rock you and love, waving Bye Felicia!

I broke your hand. That was me. Happy, happy birthday.

Happy birthday, I broke your hand. I’m still turning toward you,

communicating more, more like the bloody sun as the time passes, with each passing minute.

It’s hard to understand but the touch of your hand can start me crying.