Sometimes you are the sun and sometimes you are the feeling of drinking wine through your neck. I even love what comes out of your monster. Blood and dust and staring back and snowfall and photographs and stuck in time and hands on the hips of other hips and makeshifts you might never remember and never will. I like the ratio of waterfall to watercress the creases I adore the held hands we build. Your monster is limitless and so are we. What if we loved too much and never knew why? What if we ate summer but left our shoulders? What if we didn’t know what to say but knew exactly why?
I write the new testament on the back of the old one. Highlighted phrases drop off my tongue. I sigh into syllables, create algorithms out of apostrophes. Language is a tribe meeting another tribe at the edge of the forest. Don't go into the forest. Don’t pack away your listening into the trees. A war sparks when our sign languages go off in parallel lines. My smile means gratitude not eat all my apples. All of my oranges. All of the locust in my dreams of famine. I am in session again with my apologies. I hymn and hum back to the start of this prayer. I slam the door and another one opens.
The weather forecast says that weather is here. Beware, weather approaches. Beware, scattered hearts are dropping all along the Midwest. Beware, I am always saying beware. Judge me by my syntax, by my iambic pentameter, not by the accuracy of my atmospheric forecasts. It feels like tropical storms and misunderstandings along the coastlines of my temporal lobe. There are flash floods and falling hail in the backyard of my remembers. Beware, my curiosity returns with the force of a category five, a Midwestern funnel, an alley named after death. Beware, there is 100 percent chance of detachment and precipitation. Here, there is no shelter for this storm. No intuition left to call my own.
What lovely mundane you wear. I love what you’ve done with the place. I would've put the fireplace there too. So many escape hatches so little time. So many escape plans and only two legs. Grow your wings to me. Let’s break another world record together. Let's build a rainforest in our bed, a ski resort on the small of our backs. I’ve buried my anxiety three feet under the sand at the beach. It’s always three and it’s always a beach. You are always there at the beach, painting the sky, pointing it toward home. I create creation tales to guide me back. There is a lighthouse inside my chest missing some lightbulbs. Good evening stillness, do I worry too much or you not enough?
Anhvu Buchanan is the author of The Disordered (sunnyoutside press), Backhanded Compliments & Other Ways to Say I Love You (Works on Paper Press ), and Which Way To Go or Here (Platypus Press, 2016), co-written with Brent Piller. He was the recipient of the James D. Phelan Award and also received an Individual Artists Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. He received an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State. He currently teaches in Berkeley.
Brent Piller is the co-author (along with Anhvu Buchanan) of the mini-chapbook Which Way to Go or Here (Platypus Press, 2016).
Photograph by Christie Maclean