She told him that that made sense. She told him how generally it was men that did this. She told him how they generally twirled their mustaches and had a general air in general of fear and of panic manifesting itself as a sort of abuse of power to compensate for their total lack of understanding of how to deal with their fear and panic, which they assumed they alone felt, and that, additionally, this made them weak in the eyes of others, and unlikely to receive their long past due and much-deserved compensation and/or blowjobs. She told him how anyone who didn’t go around experiencing a general air of fear and panic at the world as it presented itself to them was either not looking at the world at all, or somehow they were some sort of total aberration, untouched by doubt and worry, and wholly unable to empathize with their fellow humans. She said Like a mountain. Or a bandit.

COTTON IN THE AIR, Derrick Brown

Your polished back is arched like Saint Louis.

I can see your fingers pushing into the bricks
when I lift your hair
to smell October drain from your neck.

You are cotton caught in the air
I am unfurling laces in your body.

I move on you steady like a fleet of ships pushing ice.
I want to break it all.

Your tank top strap slips down the huh huh of your shoulder
and I will not strain meaning from this.

I have to taste all of your shapes with my teeth,
circles of salt
square butter.

Waltzing a wrecking ball.

I lift your body so that your legs strap to my hips and you
       are now adorned.
I toss you around the room because I don’t want to be inside;
I want to walk through you.

So I can know.

I am wading in the dark felt Tijuana paintings of your hair.

I am molting my bed clothes uncoiling towards Sahara.

All I want to do is hot lust you into dead sweat.
To watch your legs, those bent sickles,
to watch them shake
like poisoned wrens.

I am gnashed and dazzled.
Smother me in the exhausted thrust of your yes… .
as exploding laundromats.

You will be rough-balanced and throne-sucked and
       tongue-dozed hard.
A straggler you can’t shake from your open-air lava solo.

May I be the image you turn to
when you are heaving alone,
burning like Halloween in Detroit?

I am breathing up your legssssspitting at the hiding nightingale.

Drift your breasts into my mouth
and I will be that doped up, spinning victrola.

La la la la la la.

I want to make love to you while you’re wearing figure skates
until the hardwood floors are toothpicks.
I want to kiss your throat in a dressing room with my hands
bound around your voice.
I want you to leave your boots on in your apartment
so we march our bodies across the ceiling
and confuse the neighbors.

I don’t care if you made that dress,
I will shred it until you look deserted.

You’re as restless as a New Orleans graveyard in a storm
with the coffins boiling up to the surface.

That’s all this writing is. You are across from me and the
       soup is cooking.

I sit up all night listening to your dental records.

I will teach you of exorcism and screw the hell out of you.

I will carry your steam in my mouth.

Daydreaming of the evening of loud struggle.
Call my name—I will cascade like a suicide.
I will fall upon you like a box of fluorescent bulbs
dropped from a five-story building.

I will do anything you ask… .
unless I have been drinking; then it is opposite day.

I can’t believe you can sleep through all this.

Chunks of brick in your fingernails.
Mortar on your pillow
A bomb shelter
sketched on your skirt.



We grow accustomed to the Dark - When Light is put away -
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye - A Moment - We uncertain step
For newness of the night -
Then - fit our Vision to the Dark - And meet the Road - erect - And so of larger - Darknesses -
Those Evenings of the Brain -
When not a Moon disclose a sign -
Or Star - come out - within - The Bravest - grope a little -
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead -
But as they learn to see - Either the Darkness alters -
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight -
And Life steps almost straight.

Someone asked me what home was and all I could think of were the stars on the tip of your tongue, the flowers sprouting from your mouth, the roots entwined in the gaps between your fingers, the ocean echoing inside of your ribcage.