Memory

 

Forever at the Buttermilk, vast
forest yawns open beside
the line for the bathroom
deciding the F is
for flinch over Pathmark
when our car suddenly
floods with sun. In other
words, the G just left and won’t
return, crossing Atlantic’s
Dead Marshes, wan
arms of flattened commuters
groping our ankles. We list
the singles keeping us
up at night. Mine’s
I don’t want to explain. I want to
get high on something. The roof
spills us over its tar edge. Bed
cigarette crooning with a stray
dog chorus into the wrong
window from no-man’s-land.
The S never curves. It’s where
all these buildings run out
of money. Forever helicopter.
Saving and condemning. Desperate
subway hand caked with rubber.
Mac, your girlfriend’s missing
finger is still at Freddy’s, deep
beneath the Jay-Z concert
at Barclay’s Center. We meet
at O’Conner’s, take the Q
and get everywhere. No one
tells us how to go home
so we don’t. We share loosies
down by the barbed wire bank
of the Gowanus. I leave you
cab money and you get your head
stapled. Hang on. Styrofoam
at the Turkey’s Nest and tackling
dummies of broken glass.
A dollop of cold Prospect
ice cream in your sister’s eye.
It’s impossible to find
Basquiat’s grave, but Psycho
plays on repeat in the chapel
as we toss watermelon
rinds in the curling roof gape
of the burnt-out factory.
Wine is for last spattering
stoop, tongue, I turn
on Washington, find the lone
open bodega, buy Dunhill
reds and return. This crosswalk
green means run. We stroke
the sensor and spill on.
Paperbag it at the church.
Double churro on the N.
Just wait, the fifth one’s
copped by the neverending
bartender. Our livers our
police. It’s about time
we get these teeth right.
Boss on the jukebox.
Thunder Road, 16th St.
We get it already, the train
is an apartment.

 

Contributor

Chris Martin

Chris Martin is the author of American Music (Copper Canyon, 2007) and Becoming Weather (Coffee House Press, 2011). A third collection, The Falling Down Dance, will arrive courtesy of Coffee House next fall. He is an editor at Futurepoem books and lives in Minneapolis.

ADVERTISEMENTS