the truth is Helen. poetry is the wooden horse.

I feel like I am tip-toeing a tightrope.

Be more specific.

I feel like I am dangling from a tightrope, strung between Troy and the SitCo where I buy beer.

Are you Odysseus?

I am his heel. Not even weak enough to be notable.

But part of a greater whole.

No, I am not part of it.

Then you are a ghost.

But I do not feel like a ghost. A ghost is loved but does not love back. I am-

You are a vampire. You take but do not give back.

Yes. I am a vampire.

And the tightrope?

There is no tightrope. And Troy has been sacked. There are a lot of banks. There is a silent conch shell.

This means?

That I am worried about money. And that there is little poetry in worrying about money.

Thus the conch shell.

Yes. The conch shell is not a metaphor. But it is not actually there.

So it is a lie?

Yes.

Do you lie often?

Yes.

Why?

When I want it to be beautiful, I lie.

You find lies to be beautiful?

I find silence to be terrible.

And truth?

That I do not yet know.

Were you lying when you said you were Odysseus heel?

Yes. I am Calypso. I have few guests, and I take everything from them, and I give nothing back.

Like a vampire.

Yes. Like a vampire.

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hashtag, selfie (working title)

your shoes, more expensive than anything else you wore,
still ended up crushed beneath the bed
with your aunt’s old denim jacket,

a shirt from a friend’s missing father,
every pair of jeans with the same hole in the right pocket,
knees turning white, cuffs still in place after a wash.
you forgot to shave for so long, everyone knew it was on purpose.

you grew out your hair and lost the teeth to your comb,
learning it could be a political statement
if that’s what you told them.

you got a little worse at falling in love,
or maybe a little better at shutting up,
you heard the refrigerator buzz a few more times.

you cooked green peppers more than red ones,
added hot sauce to a lot of things, kept
adding garlic to most things, kept on
with the peanut butter sandwiches.

because you couldn’t drink coffee,
your teas kicked the tupperware down to another shelf.
you used her mug until it wasn’t anymore.

you wrote a lot on the good days, lied a lot on the bad.
Honesty turned you on more than allegory,
but you hadn’t learned how to spot which was which yet.

drinking was reserved for weekends, but on Fridays,
you did it furious. yelled sometimes.
wanted to kiss your friends sometimes.
didn’t.

Pennsylvania license plates made your heart feel funny.
taxis made you carsick. you felt like you could swim to Manhattan
if the water was warm.

it was a good year.
you sat outside and finally loved Spring.
you kicked off your expensive shoes
and let them get lost in the grass.
you saw a bright blue light,
which someone had told you would
years ago…