Empty bars and shopping malls stand like relics of hedonistic excess.
It was among ruin that he went to become a different kind of listener.
Tired of being the skeptic smiling, the friend biting my lip,
I wanted to the universe, not the vast hopeless abyss.
I have been a citizen to bodily unrest, to fear of invasion,
to the need we all have to purge something.
I thought if I walked the streets somewhere where there is emptiness,
maybe I’ll understand what I fear in myself a little better.
There is this grand fiction that bringing our bodies somewhere perfect
is going to perfect them. We want inebriation
of first fucks on first days that lead to love,
which just wakes us up hungover in the morning somehow
connected to opium dens and brothels, and deep, deep loneliness.
I’m eager to talk about emptiness because it fills me.
It leaves something where there once was nothing.
If you keep all of yourself inside you, it doesn’t dissolve
it explodes like seagulls stomachs when fed Alka-Seltzer.
There are broken windows and offices filled with furniture but no futures.
There are still billboards with perfect human smiles.
There is still a noon sun and priests who stayed, who mutter words of prayer.
The town feels like its juxtaposing odd results often to the point of absurdity.
It sounds a lot like my heart,
an experiment in poetic practice.
Always mixing the beauty with the ugly,
always falling in love with what could be and what has been,
always bending to understanding that which alludes me.
Full of two story apartments that look like all my mourning friends,
kittens that run abandoned, an odd assortment of Coke bottles and other discarded things.
It is certain; I am in the right place.
Among ruin, I might just learn the beauty of letting go.
I might just clean up nice like an abandoned shack
with a new coat of paint, a little garden,
some nice tulips planted out front.