“So this is how the last poem comes.
Twilight is sucked behind the mountains.
Every bit of blue
is gone except the chunk
inside my heart. A yellow fingernail
moon picks at the edges
like a scab. I drag my heart
down streets at night.
I drag it for miles, this big
mess caught under my feet
like an animal. My serrated
punk rock heart. My wet
sponge heart, pin
cushion heart, heart I wear
on my sleeve because I believe in clichés.
I don’t know the name of that planet.
I take a stick and aim it at the stars
write ‘The clichés live here.’ I stand
in the middle of the road and scream
at the planet. ‘Beam
your fucking face down at me
right now and prove that you are
the face of love.’ The planet looks
the same as it always looks except somehow
more empty. I remember flying
90 mph on I-10 because I am living
a freeway romance. I step on the accelerator
and think speed and the smell of diesel
and smog at 8 a.m. is the best romance
money can buy. I’m thinking
they don’t make movies about this kind
of love, except they do because it’s all
the same. Clichés
are based on reality and the truth is
love hurts. Ask Rob Orbison. He
knows it, and I know it too. I need
a tourniquet, an aspirin, a bottle
of antiseptic or some kind of prescription that says
‘swallow two pills to kill
the motherfucking pain that hurts
like a motherfucker.’ I have driven 40
minutes for a five minute kiss. I have driven
an hour in the hazy blur of a Saturday morning
to chase a kiss I’d get hours later. I spend my days
trying to catch green lights so I can get there
faster, wherever there is at that moment on
that day. I am collecting
pictures under my tongue because
someday I’m going to write one hell
of a love letter. Open the envelope
and it’s like opening a box of
Cracker Jack except there is no
plastic ring. Instead I give you
a bunch of junk sealed with kisses.
A dirty windshield with one dry rubber
wiper flapping at a dead bug.
Ten Pigeons on a telephone wire.
Fifteen streetlamps over Oracle Rd.
Dead neon by daylight. Trailer
parks at dawn. Pawnshops
and gun shops and
bowling alleys and bars.
Half dead palm trees lining a graveyard
full of so many artificial flowers
it’s like a parade for the dead
except the only people there
are under the grass. Morbid. I know.
I am sending this to you.
This last poem.
This postcard to your heart.
The one where I draw pictures of water towers
while listening to Alice Cooper on rock
radio. They look like paper
dolls with bulging bellies.
You can write our names on them.
Sprinklers at the cement factory
spread in the morning light
like wings of doves. Yeah
love can look like this. Sprinklers
at a cement factory. And
while you’re at it, don’t forget
Waffle House. One day we’re going
to eat breakfast there and it’s going to be
so fucking beautiful we’ll remember it
forever. It’s 2 in the morning. I am writing
the last poem or the first poem or
maybe this isn’t a poem at all.
It’s a collection of stuff I’ve been meaning
to say but forgot how to say it
forgot why I was saying it in the first place.”