Today's poem is by Jason Bredle
The Idiot's Guide to Faking Your Own Death and Moving to Mexico
Every few seconds I check the Bible
to see what Jesus is saying about me. The answer
is always nothing. Sometimes
he's condemning me to eternal damnation,
but usually nothing. Tonight I am alone,
wearing my sex shorts, adrift amongst
the black suburban pools of eternal damnation.
No, I have not been in love. Yes,
I have been in love. I am speaking the language
in which no and yes mean the same, in which
apricot and goodbye mean the same.
I am remembering the kudzu of the awful season,
sitting with you beside the swamp for the last
time and neither of us knowing it was the last
time but yes the glass was hello and dragonfly.
Was it a blessing? They say so in this language.
Others say this language is dying, or already
dead. I speak it, nonetheless, while eating
apricots in the evening of eternal damnation
where you yell at the map and cut your wrist
and there is a darkness here that I have only shared
with my cat, like that guy in the movie who writes
graphic erotica and goes crazy. One says
pain near the black pool of everything,
my back is covered with wax. Every few
seconds I check the Bible to see what Jesus
is saying about me. The answer is always nothing,
aside from the time he lambasted the outfit I wore
to the People's Choice Awards. A green tuxedo.
Tonight, I am adrift in the suburb of the black sky,
I am speaking the language in which love
and apricot mean the same, in which pool
and death mean the same. I said goodbye
in a suburb like this, years ago. I said
goodbye in a suburb like this, years ago.
According to Hercules, if we make an angel
out of ourselves, that is what we are; if we make
a devil out of ourselves, that too is what
we are. See, this is what I am getting at.
It is the awful season and I am speaking
the language in which violence and God mean
the same, in which blood and dragonfly mean
the same. I am in the orchard of eternity
picking the goodbyes of damnation, I am licking
your dragonfly blood and speaking the language
in which pain means hello. A black pool,
a green sky. That is to say, each moment
without you is a vacant airport, each moment
without you is a glass apricot. Every few seconds
I check the Bible to see what Jesus is saying
about me. The answer is always nothing. Except
today, it's a bunch of weird stuff about how
I'm falling into a black pool in some suburb,
maybe Palatine or something, and just like that,
I've gone forever. I know! That's what I thought
too. This is the story, but in this language, this
is not the story. I am eating red ice,
harvesting a field of knives. I am speaking
the language in which heaven and earth mean
the same, in which sky and white mean the same.
O Lord, I made this dragonfly for you. Even
if you do not listen to it, just know, this
is how I have always felt about you. And I
am possessed. And I am a fatalist. Do you see
these bruises? Do you see these bruises?
They are a sad bouquet. They are a beautiful
scrapbook. I am floating. I am in love.
I am dead. On a perfect night, my back is covered
with wax. O Violence, but I did not want this hello.
O Lord, I made this dragonfly for you.
Even if You do not listen to it, just know, I made it
only for you.
Copyright © 2006 Jason Bredle All rights reserved
from Columbia Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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