Rain that comes straight down. So hard it gets a second chance to jump back up from underneath. Soaks everything. Soaks me. Left the doors off the jeep. I know the eyes that followed me home. Brunette debts paid to dirty blond actresses with deep dark pupils planted center. Bare rose bushes. Gravel wash out. Darker than December at five o’clock in the afternoon. Indigestion rumbles in the distance. Hooded women are running to their cars. We are all praying for someone to get home safe. North Carolina summer. East coast storms. We are all walking on water. In a thousand different forms. The geese love it. Stopped in the road four fluffy children in a row waddling after the great sleek black-neck honking at cars with foggy windows. We swim in lakes that were not there one hundred years ago. We burn the stagnate relics off ancient jungles in our engines like it was nothing, ascend their toxic spirit so that even paradise has a few holes punched in it. All alone wrapped up in waning swiss cheese ozone. Dear God. Make us a sandwich. Lettuce smeared in mayonnaise clouds and a sopping wet sliced red tomato for sun. Dripping sticky rain that soaks in and leaves stains. Sunkissed skin and moonlicked and cooked dark and broiled brown. Pink fingernails in black settings. Red knuckles etched with white scars. Words. That fill your head with pictures. Clouds. That soak the ground with rain. Seasons. Far more than four. Within these southern summers.
Spring and fall on each side like soggy bread.

Morning is a season.
So is the evening.
All on it’s own.

Don’t be surprised to wake up in heaven.
And drive through a little hell to get home.

Dad always said I worked harder for a fire than anything else.

What a weird dish life is.
Something fresh. Hot. Like I left the oven on all night. Cooking only air. Making it up as I go along. Taste. Touch. Texture. Smell. Size. Portions. The pan that frames it and the blade the divines it into pieces. What a weird dish art is. What an interesting little endeavor, this particularly genius form of prayer. Creation. Try making it for yourself. That meal you loved in the restaurant. The show you like on TV. Wear your jersey and watch the World Series, but is it such a stretch to suggest you go out and play a game of catch? I do it with a pen in my hand, because I have yet to see my perspective appropriately represented in our culture. And I fully intend to do the dirty work myself. Boots on. Gloves back pocketed. Needle nose accompaniment. Multi-tool belt decoration. Fixed blade embracing my hip. Sheath savior saving me from fulfilling the role by skin. If what I do day to day came with a set of instructions, goddamn, I must have misplaced it a long time ago. I honestly probably started a fire with it, balled up and flame kissed before I even thought to read a word. And is that so absurd, to want to freestyle your lifestyle? It isn’t like I didn’t give the mainstream highway damn near eighteen years worth of consideration. I heard you all use the word education, but you just didn’t do enough to get me to distrust my eyes. My sense. My all inclusive mind. The path I’m going to walk will be mine. I will own it no matter how much I have to pay. So I intend to make the grade myself. Direction. Destination. Dynamics. Classrooms. Commitments. Concentrations. Make it up, all on your own, as you go along. Go see for yourself what a weird dish life is.

Always Animals
There were always animals in the room with us when we were together. In as many ways as you are willing to consider. Feet beat paths wandering the back-ends of hallways, fake reading book spines and movie titles. That animal would curl up beside you. Dent your hip with the curvature of its back pressed against your skin. White like paper and soft like wine, shaped tapering down to used ankles and dirty feet up off the floor. If I could use this time machine in my head to walk where it only lets me look, I wouldn’t fake it. I would tell you this life is aquatic, and we walk winding paths through thick forested gumption just to settle at here and now, prisoners of don’t ask again. Like an intersection of roads. Just the two of us at a four way stop with at least two other animals in the room side-eyeing us. That was always the way it was. We were never alone together. The entire entanglement of a you and an I took place under sharp lemon eyes and wet nose wheezing and tails beating cups off the coffee table and plates to the floor. We thank little domesticated gods they were empty, while dogs curse them for the same reason. I was with you there, even if I wasn’t. The part of my heart I tore out and fed to those two black crows who guard my life knew where I was. It’s just that you are always more needed wherever you aren’t. Parked at the intersection of wanting to be wanted and just wanting you. To be there for and with you. Like the animals were. Even, even especially, when I wasn’t. If I could walk wherever I see, as if taking steps through memory, I would be back by your side. I’d clear the animals off the couch, and I would fake read blue eyes and a hesitant smile and knees folded feet lost into cushions. I would say sorry in the best of ways. Without a word.