All night it felt like I was in your room, the French doors opened out onto the porch, the table there, the yard there and the last of the flowers there, all night all I wanted was the vanilla shadow of your fingers, the dark candy of your armpits, the light snow your feet seem to be, and all night the night was very much like a ship, though you will hate the way I say this, a ship that appears to be both walking toward the coastline of your hips, and slowly moving away, all night all the water in the world felt as still as a teacup wrapped in tissue and placed deep into a box full of those white pieces of foam people call popcorn. This morning I drank coffee with sugar which I never do, and kept crying which is something I tend to do whenever I think I have walked into your house with a Japanese sword and cut you in half while you slept. Just thinking of you asleep makes me want to pull every flower out of the ground and throw them onto your bed. This is a hated world, I know, and we are fighting the star riddled, burnt out, sky of our brains. I keep waking up in a box made out of black ice, and sometimes there's your voice speaking in another language and sometimes there's nothing, but always a little fruit hangs from a tree, where I have carved my name, and carved your name, and carved a little note out of my arm which always says I'm sorry and love and sorry over and over, each letter spelling out my name, which, in the language of last night means apologia, or it means who do you think you are, you are barely a man. All night I wanted to sit at your table and pour out the beer into little Turkish bowls, and have all the cuts that make up your body and mine close up like a tulip in the dark and cooling front yard.
1 The Paris-American
Matthew Dickman is the poetry editor of Tin House and the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008) and the recipient of the Honickman First Book Prize, the May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, the 2009 Oregon Book Award, and two fellowships from Literary Arts of Oregon. He has also received residencies and fellowships from The Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas; The Vermont Studio Center; The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown; and The Lannan Foundation. His poems have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, and the New Yorker, among others. W.W. Norton & Co. will publish his second book in 2012. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon.