WHEN I SHOW UP TO THE RESERVOIR AND THE TREES ARE SINGING
I beseech thee transcendental ambulance to cry from mouths to page to water, reservoir center, chainlink chasm where the developers build and we develop our bodies in a smoking circle. Where the comet, where the carbon [NOW OPEN THE RIFLE] render the fat into seamless frames on a clothesline hung the length of the cloud, MY ENDLESS STORAGE, a porridge of blood and data came out of my mouth and trickled down my economical sweater. The meat-water welled in the base of the fridge and we walked to the tower were a girl once jumped. It was Halloween. It was dark outside, with muscles churning and my mouth a-chatter in clairvoyant wind from the Wantastiquet range. I cut open my arm [I TOURNIQUET SOFTLY!] The mask from Scream with my guts on the front. The town of sirloin when seen from above the avenues of gristle and rivers of fat. I CUD THE LONGING MY STOMACH HAD LEFT. When you die I will sing the powerline mother, the rupture of lines that make a state, the rupture of river we follow on down to a cabin called nowhere in the sinking woods. the PUBLIC GOOD! the ROTTED TREES! the ice heaves underneath in a belated spring and we sand for a birthday that would not arrive. I beseech thee beech-tree I beseech thee dismembered. For the head of a deer was stuck on a stake. Flies in the socket. [FLIES IN MY POCKET!] Flies come from the plastered hole in this wall, warm and wet, "guts of the house," armory body, do we need any weapons or miraculous language. When you die I will spread my toes of beauty. When you die I will bathe in the oxen blood. When you die I will axel the northern mountains. When you die I'll freak into scum of a fridge, our beloved pet dead in a suburban garage. When you die I'll die courageous the shutting of doors. When you die I'll drive our enemies into the muck of birds. When you die [OUR ENEMIES HAVE MULTIPLE NAMES!] and I see my abuser in the eye of the mirror, the lines were uneven but we made copies of keys, I beseech thee my home was ransacked by deer. I beseech the fawn in my rotting stomach, the trembling sickness covered them all. The house was more than a metaphoric head. The house was more than a MILQUETOAST GEM! do these words make it easier or harder to drive. When you die I don't write anything for a week. When you die I don't write anything for a day. When you die I drive myself to the lighthouse point and wire myself to a radio heart, the sparks fly round and steam erupts from the holes in my face ARE YOU LISTENING SON ARE YOU LISTENING NOW! at the party tonight we look look bemused and concerned. I live in the archive of a home in ruins.
[SUMMONING: HUFFING METHOD]
As X and I learn: the burial manor is in us; it's in our stomachs.
We're at the top of what was once a ski jump, on the west side of town; we're forty feet up, in the crow's nest sitting. The staircase was rotting and falling down, so we climbed the crest of the jump itself. We used the footholds, X occasionally stumbling, gripping the white plastic bag and a can of Everlite Paint Thinner in one arm, the wood creaking beneath. I'm exhausted, X says. I'm holding a garden knife in my mouth. I try to say Me too; it comes out as a mumble. We reach the crow's nest at the top, walled in by a wood fence initialed with knives. We can see Wantastiquet Mountain below, the rows of cul-de-sacs with F-150s and lawn ornaments, the cemetery, then the overpass – where X dropped a boulder when she was young, in the early hours, the car screeching to a halt on the interstate and X running to hide in the bushes.
[We see light through the leaves.]
We see the foundations of buildings sink deeper, crumbled brick, cornfields, the wind like a song rose from cracked earth, the creek not yet dry. Still from the climb, X breathes heavy.
Hand me the knife, she says. I pass it on over. She stabs the bottom of the plastic jug, the clear liquid pouring as from a wound, pooling for a second on wood before I catch it in the bag. It glugs fast. The plastic fills up. X says, We ready? I hand her the bag like an open wound and she slides her face inside, grips the handles to seal her face – and huffs the fumes. The plastic organ trembles. Are you okay I ask, and she's silent a moment, then removes her head, looks in my eyes, begins to nod and smile and passes the bag.
I huff what's inside. I huff it into my lungs and my jaws clench and it spreads through my ears to the back of the head, I think cerebral cortex or open synapse or needle void between muscles and remove my face and lie on my back, Hell yes X says and the crow's nest gets higher, I feel each of my hairs, my locks falling out as the wind starts to hit and arranges me in the circle of sun the wood. I trace stars with a knife. Resin, I think. I trace with a knife and see an eye, I feel the wood and the floorboards turn liquid and X looks at me and her eyes are filled with butterflies with young-touched wings – unmoving forever – the ligaments broken, dead leaves in our chests.
We lock our fingers. In my head, a boy. Supine in bed. He presses against me, slowly getting harder between my thighs. The sheets feel warm. His body feels warm. His hair smells good. We slip inside the dreams of the other [I live in this bag] and all I see is stained glass, the sound of ice, a young deer, a buck – alert in the road as the truck approaches; the deer can't process the rate of the truck, going beyond its comprehendible level of motion, for nothing moves this fast in the wild – the deer is six inches to the right of the plate by the time it arrives, its back hitting first before it goes limp, the metal warping and the buck's ribs crushing, its head rag-dolling and breaking the glass; the driver's eyes shut and the radio cuts out; the hood crushes inward, the coolant fluid pours out on the road. The deer is not dead. It shakes for a moment. It lets out a moan. The highway stretches onwards. A ribbon in wind. The boy enters the dream and brandishes a knife. He slits the neck.
The deer is not dead. There's an organ of this deer I feel in myself.