Secret Pop

Sep 21, 2002

"But your lips when we speak are the valleys and peaks of a mountain range on fire."

With a bit of fog in the sky, all the lights above the highway looked as if they were floating -- suspended and disconnected in a way that made me wish my car could fly. Or at least hover. It would have been nice to put some distance between me and the ground. I would have skipped along beside those lights and taken notice of the fact that I preferred the yellows to the greens.

"You must be using potions. How else could you tie my head to the sky?"

Coming over the top of a hill, trees and lampposts and other structures interrupted the light from the headlights of a car in the drive-through. It might as well have been a scene from X-Files as a scene from suburbia, replete with late-night fast food options. I preferred pretending it was what it wasn't.

"Gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth."

Am I coming home or leaving it? I never can tell.

"I'm looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find."

I have always been something of an outsider. Welcome but in polite fashion. And I often wondered if it was something in me that fabricated the distance. Or if it was just that I was looking for closeness that could not be cultivated in the fields at my feet. I have looked for closeness and found something like it. Is it possible for one person to be close and the other to be far away? It seems as if it couldn't be managed, and yet it makes perfect sense to me. The tingly touch of a genuine kindness is likely to seem like less in the aftermath. I wonder if anything I am looking for is real. If anything I believe in deserves it. If I am anything I think I am. And I chastise myself for the waste of time of it all. The wondering doesn't put food on the table. If only I could sell my fears.

"I recall the sunshine as you were melting."

I immerse myself in the genius of others. And something vicarious takes place. The words are precious to me. But I can't tell if I am pretending to say them or pretending to hear them. It's pivotal to know the difference.

"I'm through with riddles. I know we're little. Just help me feel warm inside."

I have grown dizzy with turning points. Changing my direction so many times over that I can't tell how many times I've been facing in the same direction. I trek forward with the guidance of stars that never keep their place. And sometimes it's misty out. In the dark, I feel myself swelling. In the absence of the scrutiny of truth, I can surpass myself and never know that illusions are nocturnal creatures.

"And though the comedy softens the fall, we still fall short."

I don't know how to sit still. I don't know how I've managed to do it for so long. It was involuntary. I am a bullet with blurred edges. But I would compromise my trajectory for a warm, cushioned spot where sitting still makes perfect sense. Instead, I am antsy. Itchy with goosebumps. Aware of the cold of autumn and all that comes with the dying of the leaves. The only way to thrive when winter is on the landing is to know where you keep that bit of summer you always carry with you. That's why it's smart not to change handbags too often.

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