W A I T I N G   I N   O C T O B E R

Jessea Perry

I am afraid of freeway overpasses
I walk across, alone
in a city and tilted,
slightly, because
of all that motion, a log
slipped over rapids, no stoplights,
me crossing silently, up here.
pretend I am air.
Silent and winged and quick.
my love, on a bus
asleep at 60 miles
per hour. want to see this
reflected in every fingerprint I
leave to linger, everywhere I
look. you hastened to my waking, glazed
these lines across my lips
while sleeping. And when I wake,
remember without a pen. smoking
a cigarette in a dark room, preparing
to walk my way toward high
clouds and all wet streets. so
many cigarettes and so many lines
I never write down. Fill any room.
Self-concious black and white photographs,
pulling the garbage outside because
I can�t wait twenty four hours
for you to touch me and my beat airy burn
over thighs and belly.
a story: she found his heat.
she wants a red pillow.
she thinks she is the first in this
desire, and watches cold ships beyond
the freeway. she won�t become what she loves,
she signs a contract
to protect desire from desire. she hides her ashes
from her lover. knows he is traveling faster.
learns to pass time, breathe, a furnace like all fires.
walk. step 10 blocks
down, ramble in a sleeping breeze
between two buildings.
at night I grow older, slower,
and the lights are too bright.
it�s your southern california.
your traffic-filled freeways, red, smog-sustained
sunsets above them. your high
school nights, drunk and in love
and unsure, till you sigh home
to sleep in tract-housing. the sea
next to the shopping malls. your
button-up shirts, your tanned, blonde
girlfriend, your death-filled heart
singing, muffled, alone.
the way every molecule in you
wound and responded when you
were shot to the trees,
and everything was green, green, green.
want to pull every branch of you close
to me. silent, still, matte. till we
become stone in a cold winter forest.
reaching for a cup the color
of fingernails. everywhere I look
it says the same thing. obviously.
how many different ways to stain
a piece of cloth. when I go
outside I am shocked at my
surroundings. there are too many trees here,
too many bricks.
it�s all so blatant.
and your warm chest, cave of feathers
I close into my eyes, lips with the
glory of a train wreck, your lonely
mountain passes. at a certain
temperature anything can be liquid.
in your strong arms, blue heart. so
find me on no well-traveled road
marked amber and yellow by autumn--
we were cold months ago--track me
on maps curled and wrinkled
in our cupboards and closets.
pitch your tent not too far
from an impertinent river. take note
of the honey weeds and insects, but
do not
let them bite you. and when you are
sleeping and cold,
know that the river is colder. I am there
in the aspens and redwoods around you.
and when you wake and drink I am entering
every important part.

Next Page

Swagazine 9
Winter 2001

 «  POETRY  » 

 «  FICTION  » 

 «  Biographies  » 

 «  Masthead  » 

 «  Home  » 

Back to Top