riley montana slaps the runway
behind the scene it is 30°C
the same temperature a body doesn’t need
to start decomposing—
the body sashays away in a blue blazer
catwalks to a stop in a dirndl
hundred irises of a palazzo
& when the body stops it stops only
to let the world have a view of itself through the bow-bridge of legs
my brother could never do better even though he thinks he could
when you are hanging by the rope
you think you are more things than something
everything is possible still
the summer sun at noon running behind a smog
doesn’t mean in forevermore a dead dog will always bark
When you died, time stopped for us.
The clock ticked zero at noon.
Something in us tried living as—
Only the living know the right way to live—
In the darkness of your room
We sought for the last echo of your voice;
The shrewd whimper of your breath leaving this earth
The vague memory of what a good night looked like
Before the lights were blown & the nightmares unleashed.
The day you left, Cub, we switched on the television to see
A mother over a dead child asking God where he is.
It happened like this: your cold body hanging from the ceiling,
Your name beneath, too sour to enter our mouths, too important to leave.
We switched the television off immediately.
God above was in the parlour of our thoughts. God! we called
& neither you nor he answered.
when you forget
does loss come to you as earth
worthy of our recovering
in the day’s eye
to be cleared
from the windowpane of insomnia
as the wind returns to the north
& love is just but a dying person’s only known geography—
the desert encroachment of our existence—
the avalanche of our tears &
the floodgates of accusations
from Valhalla to purgatory to
Atlantis to the last breath
when it all ends
will the birds still love me enough to sing?
our neighbour went out one day
& returned with a boy named steve
our dog’s name before the sun hid itself from us
there are so many ways to forget a night
we know only how to open the eyes
to keep remembering away
like the night my brother will never forget
whereof alone in the fields with the heat
steve pressed his juicy lips against his
the stars didn’t twinkle nonstop
& he could swear the man with an axe in the moon jumped
& steve barked nonstop
that was how the clairvoyant told us our futures
& we learned a bird must be dead to live happily