Knock on Woodeveryone(you assume,but maybe it's just you)has those personalized forms ofavoiding cracks in sidewalkstheir own personaltalismanssafeguardsritualssaying "white rabbit"three times changes the directionthe smoke blowsholding your breath andskipping every other stairmeans they won't find out aboutyesterdayyou believe inwhole grainskarmalooking both ways before crossingyour hands fidgetingyou lean downbecause you also believerippingoffthe toenails on yourleft footcould cure him if you couldjustget downdeep enough
To My Future HusbandI'm sorry. I'm sorry about all thoselate nights filled with laughter andsurreptitious glancesdark roomsskinandmenI was only bored so don't think I'd chase any of them downif they weren't within reach. Don't think I'd throw my heart under a busfor anyone but younone of them were worth anythingI was bored and lonely and you werenowhere sooh I'm outof excuses andpeanut butter and thosereplacement energy saverbulbs that you swore to me wouldsave us moneyI was lazyI was much too lazy to wait for youor to even believe you were out thereand worth waiting for
I Mean to Get You AloneYou have sharppulse-elevating teeththe stuff I imagine heart attacksare made ofI'm bent on selling you a handful of smilesspecifically craftedto distract you from the fact thatI have almost nothing to sayand now you're steering this conversationin a direction that suggests you'veforgotten that Idon't watch movies or do much ofanything but work which maybeexplains why one glass of wine gets mewrapped around youcar to streetlightcrash stylemangled limbsbreeding curious onlookers and my insurance hasexpiredyou're leaning in and all I can think isI don't have insurance
InsomniaOne of the first things I noticewhen we visit youis that the walls are completely bareno picturespainted a neutral beigewalls to keep your heart-rate downThe door handles are all encircledby white cones and we speculateabout how this is probably to stop peoplefrom hanging themselvesalthough they don't exactlylet you have a rope handydo they?and later when I'm crying in my bedI remember you quietly saying"she left me"and long after the nursekicks us outbecause visiting hoursare donelong after you've describedthe schizophrenic with squeaky shoeswho walked the hall for four hours last nightI can't sleepand I know you're therebare wallsplastic mattressno clockthinking about herand not sleepingeither.
Reasons where none existMaybe I didn't really meanto drive the wrong waydown that one waymaybe I didn't meanto show up at your apartmentI don't actually think you meant tofeed my heartto your dogit's quite possible I was sleep-walking or shot upsome sort of drug(I'm betting on cocaine)and this last week has been a dreamscissorsplastic garbage bagsany number of combinations of letterswill dobecause if there is one thing I am always in need ofit's an explanationno matter how senselessmaybe it's the fact that he's in the hospitaland I keep feeling like it's somehow my faultthe same way I felt responsible for that night when youdrove offdrunkand left mereeling.
Triumph, Progress, DistanceYou don't make my hands shakeyou don't turn my world upside downor any other directionand you finally talking to memeans nothing morethan vague confusionnothing but an almost-question markhere, wavering,gone.I've already quit wondering whyyou're back in my lifeand while I used to spend hourstrying to figure out that particulartangled arrangement of neuronsyou've got padlocked inside your headnow I can't even bring myself to question this.Vague. Confusion.Nothing more.
A Series of Demandsspill your guts out in black and whitebecause we've always found color to be less cost efficientso tell me everything in its entiretyand let your eyelids drip downturn the oven off brush your teeth wash your face wash your mouthout with soaptell your mother I said hello tell your mothershe isn't really dead.wake up.reality awaits you if you pick the right door andOhSiryou've picked the goatno prize. No cash prize and they don't even let you keep the goat.you have been dupedfoiled(he always told me that foiled wasn't a real wordbut that can't be rightbecause I hear it all the time)useless arguments took upare taking uphave taken uphalf my childhoodI need a paper routeI need a jobI need you back, you're my jobI was full timewe were full timealthough now that I think about itmaybe you were part timeor half-assing it in the employee loungewhile I picked up all yourslack