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February 6, 2014 | Poetry

Not Everyone's On One

Zach Mueller

Not Everyone's On One photo

Passing angels walking cracks up and down towns

in South Carolina tonight—swing by. We can let go

together. In Winnsboro and Georgetown. We can settle

like dead leaves settle into the roots of crab grass in

Orangeburg, or in Spartanburg in fenced-in yards near

the courthouse. Let’s verdict. Let’s reverb. Let’s care

necessarily. I got friends coming with us. We can bump

Gucci and Sosa and Future while we sip lean with Sprite,

and talk Drill like Foucault talks about nutjobs, and talk

dying like Chiraq rappers. Like we’ve been there. We

haven’t. And the dude on the carpet having his girlfriend

count African capitals to impress us—Dakar. Pretoria—

he hasn’t done shit. He’s shapeless. We’re borders. Our

lines are ghosts on our backs we wear like damn Jan-

sports. We can play no-bones to get them off us—just go

limp, spill onto the concrete. Forget how to be. Forget being a

crescent moon hovering above cornstalks. Be an empty hospital

bed. Be a bed-pan. Be a camel’s bow-legged stagger sprinting

through Bethlehem. That’s how you win. By blaming women

and calling each one of them bitch and crack fingers like hand

grenades. Don’t worry. If it doesn’t hurt, then you’re not doing it

right. Is this what they teach angels in heaven? Does God tell

you destruction is art? Are you fucking Picasso? All-white

and ageless? Trust me, this is the easiest way to be empty

jars of compartmentalized nothing. Nada. These houseboats

have flooded, and we bob in the water. Don’t get washed away just

because we self-medicate. Yeah, sure, it’s coming. And we’ll string

ourselves up from the pine trees without knowing how or when

or from where and make hanging our Mesopotamia. We can be

pine needles. I mean, it depends whether pinecones love

or unlove falling down. It won’t matter what it’s like to be

codeine with eyes—how hard it is, and soft, to bleed

glass and breathe like teenagers bleed themselves dry

by the bundles. Isn’t it like seed? Yo, aren’t we just seeds?

 

image: Zach Mueller


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