When I die
Give what’s left of me away
And old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
And give them
What you need to give to me.
I want to leave you something,
Look for me
In the people I’ve known
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on your eyes
And not on your mind.
You can love me most
Hands touch hands,
Bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
That need to be free.
Love doesn’t die,
So, when all that’s left of me
Give me away.
- Merritt Malloy
when i find myself in times of trouble, mother bacon comes to me.
Quote with 1 note
I would cut myself
in half to look in your eyes. But our eyes
are meant to look inward, or away.
I looked up sky. I blued, obscured.
You were nowhere in my dictionary.
And the birds gave up reciting
their foreign vocabularies.
The clouds broke off their pas de deux.
Do do. The world is full of spit.
The sun’s just a French pop song.
Do do, you do, you don’t, you did
decline the thunderstorm, the chorus
girl and all her words for weepy.
Quote with 3 notes
After all this love, after the birds rip like scissors
through the morning sky, after we leave, when the empty
bed appears like a collapsed galaxy, or the wake of
disturbed air behind a plane, after that, as the wind turns
to stone, as the leaves shriek, you are still breathing
inside my own breath. The lighthouse on the far point
still sweeps away the darkness with the brush of an arm.
The tides inside your heart still pull me towards you.
After all this, what are these words but mollusk shells
a child plays with? What could say more than the eloquence
of last night’s constellations? or the storm anchored by
its own flashes behind the far mountains? I remember
the way your body wavers under my touch like the northern
lights. After all this, I want the certainty of hidden roots
spreading in all directions from their tree. I want to hear
again the sky tangled in your voice. Some nights I can
hear the footsteps of the stars. How can these words
ever reveal the secret that waits in their sleeping light?
The words that walk through my mind say only what has
already passed. Beyond, the swallows are still knitting
the wind. After a while, the smokebush will turn to fire.
After a while, the thin moon will grow like a tear in a curtain.
Under it, a small boy kicks a ball against the wall of
a burned out house. He is too young to remember the war.
He hardly knows the emptiness that kindles around him.
He can speak the language of early birds outside our window.
Someday he will know this kind of love that changes
the color of the sky, and frees the earth from its moorings.
Sometimes I kiss your eyes to see beyond what I can imagine.
Sometimes I think I can speak the language of unborn stars.
I think the whole earth breathes with you. After all this,
these words are all I have to say what is impossible to think,
what shy dreams hide in the rafters of my heart, because
these words are only a form of touch, only tell you I have no life
that isn’t yours, and no death you couldn’t turn into a life.
Quote with 1 note
to hold a thing accountable for being itself
to hold a thing at all
to pronounce each syllable of a name
to lean against a door stroking your keys
the way a man runs a blind hand over your nose
how I have missed you
to peek into a dark drawer
where a single pearl earring glows
to slam back into the seat of a park swing
after the chain’s momentary release
at the crest
to be heavy
to whisper a lover’s name into your palm
(which we’ve all done with startling consistency)
to fill your mouth with dirt and taste apples
I am not summer
not a nightingale, singing—
I might be a chorus some of the time
but I have my moments, like all
where the bird dies
inside the ribcage.
I am not marble
not a statue, adorned, adored—
I am more like a weatherworn maidenhead
howling at the wind. I have barnacles,
rotten, in places, have parts of me that no one
would want to touch.
I am overcast with breaks of light
goblin dancing in a stream, cackling
I’m the ugly cabbage babies
rolling around in the dirt of their patch.
stop, stop, stop, stop, stop
going on ‘bout how much I mean to you
stop pussyfooting about the fact—
get on your fucking hands and knees
open your eyes
and tell me you love me.
Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time
lying in bed
and thinking about all the things
that come between us.
The language barrier
The communication barrier
The distance barrier
I start thinking about the driveway to your house
and I imagine every yard
and all the hundreds of mile markers
the keep your breath from my ear.
I wrote this while in the bathroom the other day and I had to run out and write it down. It still needs some work but this is the first time in a while I had to get something out of my head.
Select one isolated cloud.
Spy it your entire life, like a personal impersonator.
The fish in the diner’s aquarium blink twice for yes.
God sends cryptic messages, only to me, on these stained menus
After the 24-hour diner closes.
During my meal I express to my imaginary waitress the free water tastes
Like it’s smuggled from an aquarium; I detect a hint of algae.
I concede doughnuts are three-dimensional, but why
Are waitresses smuggling new bacteria out of this world in their tips?
What if God were common lint?
I’ll leave the car running on the approach to the bridge.
No lousy tipper, as the wind kicks up I peel off C-notes & Sawbucks & Fins
& lonely George Washingtons & let them migrate off the bridge.
I did not fathom the full extent of myself until I reached the very top of the bridge. A disorderly V of geese
broke rank in complex denominations—
All prime numbers. One feather less than prime.
Select one fish from the aquarium & wink. The river below is a replica
Of an aquarium whose H20 is vaguely three-dimensional,
Where I can smuggle exotic fish out of this glass world.
Cumulous clouds are God’s spies. My life has been lived badly already—
By a stunt man, an extra. I am my own twin—the problem & solution.
I have seen this movie already. Both the original & the remake.
Who among us is not an abstract number composed of a whispering
Linear math wind? Who is not a regular guy slumping in a diner slurping coffee?
I wanted only to have a repartee of drivers licenses representing the dozens of disparate
States all with capital letters, lots of aliases,
Blow up sex dolls & hitchhikers buried along the Interstates,
Like a sequestered jury brushing its collective teeth, sharing one toothbrush.
Illogical to think there is one God, still, or still no God.
In the evening I scrape together change from sofa cushions & glove compartments
In the humdrum. Or is it conundrum?
God’s a stunt man, a stand-in, who takes my place when I’m living in my elsewhere—
A little hung over from innuendos & the brittle silence after,
Coming to grips with coffee aromas diligently regressing back
Into their beans of embryonic origin, will I forget & simply drive away
Or simply drive away?
as well as
on top when
the chap of
and balm in
among her things.
We knew she
but not what
Page 1 of 2