He closes a cabbage moth in the cave two toddler hands make. The wing life fluttering for a way out the Wednesday before I die in the fire I’ve been promised. Sky drops a freckle. We are ready to quit the park. There is shame in the grass we leave behind. He opens his hands to me, a gentle dust stain on his palm & asks what happened cabbage moth The tree is sick. The tree is why he bought the house & it is filled with white flies. He pokes the scab bark & nothing happens. A man charges $300 to poke the scab bark & nothing happens. The flies are too small. Black leaves slop against the windows. The death will be a block party that lasts several months & is silent as a fence cabbage moth We are four bowls of uneaten cheerios. He is in the corner, a page in his mouth. We listen for the bitter grape of the neighbors’ TV. How do you woman like this? He opens his fruit mouth. There is nothing but the black streak of the corpse tree. The page still dry I bend to read. It says the fire will taste

cabbage moth

There is no color in my nightgown. When the Santa Ana wind comes I kiss what mother taught me, sweet terrible, lips parted the aperture of pearl. We speak honeymoon Spanish until he forces a long suck & gems & bitter throat & sound. Jade, amber, sapphire. These are fingers underneath. Feed me that fucking diamond

cabbage moth

Nothing is wrong because here is a French bread pizza. I put the cheesy wrapper in the trunk. I put coconuts in the trunk. None of you fuckers read my play but here is a piece of my stomach for you to watch. Here is the anglerfish from your night terror & here is special underwear for your stupid kidneys. There was never blood in your soda pop & God didn’t tell me your name

cabbage moth

Either I vomit on the cat or the cat vomits on the floor. Nothing is real except the big happening. I fixed the Bible for us so you can kiss me with your eyes open I miss you. Que lastima mi amor, que lastima mi arbol. Don’t look in the trunk. I am so sorry about the fat. I am so sorry I vomited your stinking heart

cabbage moth

I say Cadillac is beautiful. Soft maroon leather never demands what is pink inside my bones. He and he and he among us. I am smitten by the algae in our dirty lake. Finally there is joy at the end pieces of bread. The two recite commercials as they rip. Give the wet birds my lunch, I can’t wait to see my skull  
Last night I couldn’t sleep and for the first time in a few weeks I noticed how beautiful the woman in the picture I keep on my bookshelf is. I don’t know who this woman is for sure but I think we’re related because I found the picture in my grandfather’s sock drawer a few days after he died when I was going through all his things because I didn’t know what else to do. But what I want to ask you is have you heard the El trains today? They’re still up after all these years. But what I want to ask you is you know when you think your phone made a noise but when you check it you realize it didn’t make a noise and that instead the noise or the vibration or whatever you thought you heard or saw was just in your head. And probably it is a manifestation of your desire to be connected to people more which is so beautiful I love you so much because you are filled with blood   and God made you a scrapbook of all the times you avoided eye contact with somebody on the street asking for change. They actually made a Facebook album and it’s titled “everybody does this all the time but the key is to feel bad about it.”   Just kidding there is no God and you can’t use that many words in a Facebook album title anyway. You only have 40 characters. And God wouldn’t be mean to you because they love you.   This one time a man asked me for change at the LaSalle blue line station and I had 40 dollars in my pocket so I told the man no and he paused and then asked do you have any change and I said no and he paused and asked do you have any change and I said I do but that I didn’t want to give it to him and he asked me why I lied to him twice and I said it was easier than telling him I didn’t love him and he said why did I lie to him and I said what do you mean and he said Raul I know you love me and he gave me a kiss on the cheek and we stood there while 10,000 trains came and went and I called him father and he called me a beautiful pile of feelings and when I think about him my fingers turn pink.   Oh I forgot to tell you that every night we all have the same dream but can’t remember it but I cut a hole in the ground beneath my apartment and dug my way down to where all the bones are and saw that they spelled out “the dream is that we are the same person” so guess what you’re my twin! Isn’t that great?   But what I want to ask you is why can’t we recognize when someone is saying I love you in our immediate proximity. I don’t mean when our mom says it to our dad or when our dog says it to our garbage can or when our hair says it to our comb but when everyone in a crowd says it quietly inside themselves. Is it because we haven’t read the bones right? Hold on: I think my phone is trying to tell me something.     Status update: Sanity is the first time leaflets curl out of wood Status update: Sanity is the song you can’t get out of your head after a particularly incredible make out session with someone you just met. Status update: Sanity is a little bug you are too tired to deal with right now Oh my god you are my best friend today! Oh my god it’s so unfair that there are more people than homes. If only we could make more homes! To celebrate making it through another Thursday I made you a necklace that says youth culture forever and a bracelet that says taco party at my place. If you want to know why I’m being coy it’s because when my mother tried to kill herself it didn’t work because I am one of the lucky ones and she’s a great mom. I told her I was writing this poem and asked if it’d be okay to get a statement from her for it and she said “honey you can have anything you want because I love you.” I know I’ve said I love you too many times in this poem but it’s okay because it’s a rhetorical device. Rhetorical devices are language tricks you can use to tell people you love them. What I’m saying is if there is anything worthwhile about growing up religious it’s that you will never stop believing in magic no matter what you tell yourself. What I’m saying is saying that you’re saying things can be a political act or even something else.   I have a dear friend who sleeps in my bed when his insides are on fire because my bed is all the oceans. I have a dear friend who calls me every night at 3am to tell me what the moon is doing. I have a dear friend whose eyes are made of very shy birds. I have a dear friend who eats clouds for breakfast. I have a dear friend who wants your teeth to be her teeth. I have a dear friend who lives inside a bus and you can ask for a ride anytime and they’ll take you to wherever you need to go because they love driving. I have a dear friend who got the phrase SENTIMENTALITY RULES inside his lip and if you have a problem with this poem you can go talk to him. This is something: you can be friends with someone you just met if the rain holds up. This is something: you can be friends with someone even if you’re both comprised of broken pieces. The pieces still work fine, I promise.   Oh God! Is there anything like the summer? I think so   I think you are   when you’re still alive because we say your name so often. So much can be erased by not saying. But you’re here because we’re chatterboxes, sweetheart.   Sleep is okay if you’re into playing dead, but saying YOU YOU YOU is better.    
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© Raul Rafael Alvarez