The Art of Crying on Street Corners


I was an anonymous atom until the summer
he popped me like a balloon. I walked around
with a bomb in my chest; fell asleep every night
to the tick-tock of mini-promises. I fell like a piano

from a rooftop party, while he sang for every hooker/
waitress there. But I wanted to crawl under his skin
and spray-paint my name on his lungs so that I could
surf on his breath. He saw straight through my

cellophane eyes and anchorlessly-pink mouth.
He loved me like a sneeze. He squeezed my hand
so tight the nail polish peeled off. I played hopscotch
in his Modigliani eyes. We would cut class and make

love in pea-fields. Sometimes he would count
the scars on my thigh. One day, he licked my
hipbone, I exploded. I couldn’t find all my pieces
so I ordered some more. The clouds didn’t deliver

them immediately so I had to start talking in fractions,
start dieting my emotions. The night he came home
tasting like mandarins, I knew someone else had gone
swimming in his mouth. I sat in the pea-field for hours,

scraping my ceramic mind with spoonfuls of grey sky.
I threw my last confession at him like a dart at the wrong
target. He shrugged: the sharpest insult. I laughed for a long time
after he left. When I finally slept, I did crosswords of my dreams in ink.



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I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

3 thoughts on “The Art of Crying on Street Corners”

  1. Splendid. Mais, ei ici je nager comme une pierre, les coupes sont trop précis:

    “so I ordered some more. The clouds didn’t deliver”

    Peut-être vous essayez de passer entre les gouttes d’un orage, mais toutes les autres lignes trahit un torrent… copieux et implacable.

    Probably just my state of mind…

    1. Writing and reading it is one thing…speaking another. In American high schools – grades 9 – 12, or around 14 to 18-years-old – there is a “core” track of classes and then you can pick from different elective tracks that are mostly Liberal Arts (although technical/vocational exist for computers, machining, or, say, farming/husbandry in the middle of the country). I chose a foreign language track which was 3 years of study, but the only language my school offered was German. By the time I graduated I felt I needed my mouth scoured clean and I understood why there are many famous German philosophers, but hardly any poets. Teaching myself French, somewhat, was my penance.

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