by Alex Burford






The sky is flat, swapping tongues with angels and harp sounds. Bad news, dad is in the ditch again. In the hospital. Driving his car in the creek bed. S- is a long time ago. I am asleep in someone else's bed, making love to someone so righteous I could puke blood. S- calls me Big Papa. She calls me puddin' pop. She calls me down and licks at bullshit mix tapes. My mailbox, the one with little stickers of sparkled stars and lips,  that cube where clouds dust fingertips, is empty. I can wait for a tear of paper for miles. Today I hammer her fingernails like quick and Silver Jews play in the dust trails. They are Yankees on the BQE, giving out salvation with shots of whiskey. With her hair in pins, she whispers out directions to hipster trails and I am hooked directly to her northwest drawl. The way her vowels elongate and slide out her mouth. I am always reminded of sex.


The sky is a car lost in the woods. Her hair in curls. This is economic stress combined with absolute vodka. She cooks vegan lasagna and we get tipsy. This is the only way we can have sex. Sex with S- is savage acting. It is drunk pretending not to feel alone. I am "not thinking" "not progressive" and "hardly able". This is not an ordinary problem that rips out my guts and bitch-slaps my elbows. It was being indoctrinated into a culture of hair and wings and sex, that made her seem special and irreplaceable. She wasn't just my placeholder for, "put more problems here, etc."


The sky was a big lens looking down on a world made of glass. S- had more tears in her eyes than I had hairs. A flea market is no place to express one's unhappiness about a given situation. I walked away and said, "Go get fucked." This is how S- learned to walk home in "O shit rain".


The sky is a big blue, grey, and green and is glad we knew each other.