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    The Places In Which I Imagine Us

    For Alyssa

    I’m not sure how many of them exist.
    Like that cabin in an unexplained clearing
    in an island off the coast of Nova Scotia.
    The fireplace sounding like a page
    of sheet music being eternally crumpled,
    as if to say to us: Sit down. Read a little.
    The bed is made and we’ll make a bet
    to see who gets to ruin its serenity
    first. Then maybe I will kiss you.
    Then maybe I will step in the shower
    and explore the lengthy chapters
    of the book of happiness. Then maybe
    I’ll get out and lie down and whisper to you
    the thousand feelings I cannot name
    zipping around my body like molecules.
    I will ask you to tell me a story
    about your childhood, or ask you to look
    outside at all the trees we don’t recognize.
    All the colors we didn’t know existed.
    All the while I cannot say where you are
    in the cabin. Or outside of it.
    I have stopped trying to imagine
    the entirety of you. Or at least trying
    to fit it into a poem. But still on rainy days
    I catch myself dwelling on the drifting island
    of my heart, imagining that somewhere,
    you are practicing all the words you know
    for longing, as I am doing in the language
    of poem, very rarely spoken outside its country
    of sorrow. But maybe happiness as it is,
    and longing, and love, can make it.
    Can make a good poem. Or maybe you have ruined me
    exactly the way I wanted you to.

  2. Breaking Bad | First and Final Appearances (excluding flashbacks)

    (Source: smileslikeareptile)

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    One of the country’s best poets. 

    One of the country’s best poets. 

    (Source: kaelco)

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    Status Update, by Rebecca Lindenberg

    Rebecca Lindenberg is drinking whiskey. Feels guilty. Is caught in one of those feedback loops. Is a blankity-blank. Is a trollop, a floozy, a brazen hussy. Would like to add you as a friend. Would like to add you as an informant. Would like to add you as her dark marauder, as her Lord and Savior. Has trouble with boundaries. Rebecca Lindenberg is keeping lonesomeness at bay with frequent status updates to elicit a thumbs-up icon from you. Rebecca Lindenberg wraps her legs around this. Has a ball of string you can follow out of her labyrinth. Has this labyrinth. Rebecca Lindenberg has high hopes. Has high blood sugars. Rebecca Lindenberg doesn’t want to upset you. Wants to say what you want to hear. Rebecca Lindenberg thinks of poetry as the practice of overhearing yourself. Rebecca Lindenberg thinks about love. About ribbons unspooling. Rebecca Lindenberg would like to add you as a profound influence. Would like to add you as a royal assassin. Would like to add you as her date to the reckoning. Rebecca Lindenberg remembers a statue of a faceless girl with shapely feet. Rebecca Lindenberg remembers the Italian for “chicken breasts” is petti di pollo and the word for kilogram is kilo and that a kilo is way too much chicken breast for a family of three. Steals sage from strangers’ gardens. Runs for it. Misses Rome. Misses her family of three. Lost in her own poem. Rebecca Lindenberg has dreams in which you come back. Rebecca Lindenberg lets it go. Rebecca Lindenberg crescendos and decrescendos. Rebecca Lindenberg is: Hey, you, c’mere. Rebecca Lindenberg is not the boss of you. Rebecca Lindenberg goes to the movies. Needs a bigger boat. Gave you her heart and you gave her a pen. Can’t handle the truth. Rebecca Lindenberg loves the truth. Loves the smell of dirt gathered in water and the sleep-smell of your morning body. Loves her rumpled cat, her jimmied window. Loves long letters. Will write soon.

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    To the Girl I Haven’t Met Yet:

    I love that summer dress flowing down your body like a waterfall in the sun. And when you curse in the morning before the coffee’s done brewing. The way you wear a hat in the store as if it were your own. I can only love women who look stunning in hats. I love that smile. How if your city had a pageant for its top five smiles, you’d be up there on stage, answering a question on how the world can come closer to not hating itself. Your smile, then, cannot possibly be “killer.” I’ve always wondered why men don’t fall for smiles that can end wars. I can only love a woman who can launch a thousand ships back to their dark, rainy harbors, metaphor for a jilted king’s heart. Why do men turn evil when their hearts break? Does the heart begin pointed north until it is pounded into not? I love the way you photograph. How all of us turn less beautiful in a universe in which time is time, and continues to be time. I can only love girls who spend eternity making the world stop, and by virtue of that, only girls who are eternal. I love that thing you do with your nose and keep wondering how you breathe when you do it. I wonder, too, how you calm yourself when you sleep and how you are most beautiful in the mornings. I love that story you sent me and how it reminded of the bananafish, and I love how you love the bananafish. I love that song on repeat in your room somewhere behind the hundred doors of my body, or maybe somewhere across an ocean. The one that has no words, that makes me feel like I’m on a train headed for another train, and another. But most of all I love that song you keep whistling while your back’s turned, your hair tied in a bun, as you’re dealing with the latest morning of your life, frying eggs. 

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    Scary Movies, Kim Addonizio

    Today the cloud shapes are terrifying, 
    and I keep expecting some enormous 
    black-and-white B-movie Cyclops 
    to appear at the edge of the horizon,

    to come striding over the ocean 
    and drag me from my kitchen 
    to the deep cave that flickered 
    into my young brain one Saturday

    at the Baronet Theater where I sat helpless 
    between my older brothers, pumped up 
    on candy and horror—that cave,
    the litter of human bones

    gnawed on and flung toward the entrance, 
    I can smell their stench as clearly
    as the bacon fat from breakfast. This 
    is how it feels to lose it—

    not sanity, I mean, but whatever it is 
    that helps you get up in the morning
    and actually leave the house
    on those days when it seems like death

    in his brown uniform
    is cruising his panel truck
    of packages through your neighborhood. 
    I think of a friend’s voice

    on her answering machine—
    Hi, I’m not here—
    the morning of her funeral, 
    the calls filling up the tape

    and the mail still arriving,
    and I feel as afraid as I was
    after all those vampire movies 
    when I’d come home and lie awake

    all night, rigid in my bed,
    unable to get up
    even to pee because the undead 
    were waiting underneath it;

    if I so much as stuck a bare
    foot out there in the unprotected air 
    they’d grab me by the ankle and pull me 
    under. And my parents said there was

    nothing there, when I was older 
    I would know better, and now 
    they’re dead, and I’m older, 
    and I know better.




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