In the flowers of young girls in shadow
Lifted up by blonds and the comic victory of the particular, like the city and my mom in a fake, spontaneous duet. The financial district falls into her lap so that no good thing can be saved from a three-legged relay with the bad. Layers of grudge and wonder collapse into a single unsalted cracker, while miles of superstitious sun signs combust in a triangle of fire with liquor and wet-wipes. Reggie curls into ringlets of love and disgust, nestling in settlements of incest and redness at the heart of his own sterile starfish. Neither ass nor mouth is undone by the circumference of the other, but the bedtimes of both get stretched by nights of progressively wider size, an axis of appetite wrapped in plastic and dipped in Teflon honey. Awakened by the displaced taste of inverted cane, you realize anxiety always rides before the reason it is anxious to erase. Laws and observation lock inverted lips like Charlie’s chocolate ancestors in the single, king-sized bed. Golden favors. A Mr. Clean eraser. A circle of dirt and sanitation in which each outruns the other at the exact same pace. Early attempts to tuck the chin as you dive leave you blind to the alliance of dexterity and class. Money and sunscreen make the body spontaneously align, as displaced volumes of water speak inverse volumes of the body’s native grace. Hay after strokes of jojoba. Rivers and degrees of distant phoenix. Somewhere in middle of all of this there is a timeline of fungible love in which I forgot to say that I couldn’t come home on half-days to find the light of two perverted suns doing sex things on the bed since the golf balls in my wallet cannot feel or be felt. Topical fondants take new names when the tips are black or frosted, so the flaxen are outed by the only sexed adjective in English, getting off beneath screens of mesh and jean, left with the disharmonic blonde of an improvised, neon costume, and the generic heather jersey of the Colorado Rockies. Riding that wave, not the cool synthetic scoreboard of moral proxies, I avoid the challenge. To live one way or another. Escaping from the shade inside that one maternal cubby and the secrets of its warm performance fleece, I draw two blond sons in the analyst’s second-hand dollhouse, resurrecting the waxy grave of dispossessed yellows and single-track messages from my parents. That it will be okay; that this genealogical contract cannot be renewed. Two cousins. Corn rows. Code words hidden in the post-cards. In the woods we measure the circumference of recessive reds and cry beneath the shade of a camo, Abercrombie visor. Jackie says her nipples are the smallest in a competition to which no one consented. Smears of ejected chicken tenders and tender sheets of wood pulp are an end-rhyme with the fireworks of the first official social. Duets of cream and sunburn. Your wrist writes the sequel: the classic khaki braid of rich Nantucket bracelets. These details go dormant in the winter as other kinds of release are sustained in shape of vacant upstate cabins, where butts butt heads with head and jump through hoops of softened Swiss cheese. Eggs on the underside of a frying pan, a brain lit up by the unseasonal desire for more life than any life can give. Now and then, portraits of young girls present two alternative futures in which I accept either the meltdown of mountaintop removal, or the secondary embellishments of Jello. Each infertile world waits just beyond the path of greatest pleasure, indefensible against the path of less disgrace. Parental love is enormous and mistakenly cast as the foil to all future partners. The jury admits to this: duets of Gatorade and shame; a miscarriage of flowers in the garden. Dancing with that one particular star is the unchecked patient-zero of all successive tingles on the warm, embroidered scoreboard of the emerald, velvet loveseat. I cover the airspace with my grandma’s checkered afghan, swapping one profanity for another, weaving secrets, which I pay to reveal. On another couch I confess to jealousies that won’t leave the session. Tonight is different from all other nights. But there is a reason that the question is asked so many times, even if it is obvious why we dip twice, and why you and I choose to recline.
Wendy Lotterman's chapbook Intense Holiday was published by After Hours Ltd in 2016. Other recent work can be found in Poor Claudia, The Literateur, and Prelude.