Monday 11/05/2007 01:01:00 AM

Children. With stolen names. The counted raindrops on the window's screen. Little scraps of skin stitched into the face I try to wear. While I wait for the new one to grow over it.

Long toenails pulling away from the footprint. The staircase in her throat deciding which way is down. Considering whether there is a difference.

(The)n(or)ever

She found herself. Dirty water all over clean dishes. He said why be so hard on yourself? The world will do that for you. She began to explain about clouds of thought dense with rain, but she stopped herself. In time to notice he was trying hard, but failing to care enough. So she just told him she had to be sure she was in the world, not just it in her. Those tiny cliches of skin multiplying until I'm just another no one.

The autumn was soft. Colorless. The train tracks were always empty as she drove over them. People like right turns on red. Double dutch. Leaning. Bobbing. Jerking. Trying to find the opening in. The outcome in fortunate distillations of the beginning.

The short films in her head. Amphibian hearts. Positing the advantages of selfishness. Little lunges change the toad quickly. She prefers to do it slowly. Find the man. Bury him after.

Turn the leaf over on the fairy godmother to find her blowing Jacob Marley. Turned on by his chains.

The truth about ghosts is that they're always there. Laughing at the burden of bones. and the folly of flesh. Pitying the living for the tiny world they're lost in.

What you need to know about women is that they lie. They say it's over when it's not. They say the lion is full just before it eats them. They say so little in so many words. Especially when they're lonely.

Counting on those sexy skirts to offset. All the knots they can't undo.

Like words only louder. Strategies of surrender contemplate attacks. Breaths of gunpowder pretending they have bullets left.

Tell me there's a nightclub where we can go. Where all this violence isn't only metaphor. All this sex not just hyperbole. Is there any place at all like the one in my head? Where once it's dark it stays that way?

When the ghosts visit, they don't take me anywhere. They just ask where I want to go. And I say the future isn't something I want to see. And the past isn't something I've forgotten.

Can you take me anywhere else?

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