i can’t think of the word for it

by Austin Wolfe

The night, a domesticated dance—something like matrimony— 
of stovetop pots filled with popcorn, of Life, of black-bottomed reindeer cookies, of 
proximity not yet defined. A murderous duo billed on the marquee. 
The morning gave way to witchy women manipulating Bluetooth 
connections, to yesterday’s clothes under hand woven blankets, to long drags from 
bullet pipes. Roles exhaled through the window screen.
Welcome midafternoon with drawn blinds and without a light in the house, 
with elevator music and without conversation, with the pleasure of knowing and without the pressure of action. Let that be enough for a while.
Without that magnifying glass, the one burning up the ants on the sidewalk, it flows out gold. Secures that top podium.
Without that weight, the one crushing chest cavities, it floats up in Her eyes without hesitation. Yes, something to laugh at.
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t know
Those clouds, deep heavy grey ones, they seep through the rays of sunshine. They evaporate before any rain falls, always do.
With nothing else, focus falls to Lili, frantic for an escape, she welcomes a distraction. The rhythm will break now.
a hive.
jeering feigned ignorance.
I guess that’s all it is?  a fragile tea cup—pleasing, soothing, comforting—with a crack forming.
Quiet now—listen to it drip. 
pick the ultralights from my teeth as you say how cute it was when i twirled your hair without you having to ask, and he, he picks the plaster out of his index finger. 
there’s that reminder on your cheek pulsating to the beat of his heart, a miracle. then there’s that curling iron, every day, every day—every fucking day—that curling iron is left on.
think on that bumble bee you threw after they all got porcelain dolls. laugh at their toddlers while i knot up my beard.
just like him, just like him you say i’m hard to talk to often. i say you say “do you even want a cat?” when you mean “why can’t you twirl my hair?”
you know it was something, don’t you? i knew it was something, playing patriarch with peach fuzz sideburns and a fridge full of long island iced tea in the plastic liter.
new glasses, you ask if i like them and i say your eyes look fine—can’t hardly notice those bags and there’s not anybody out there looking at you funny.  you say a surgeon would do it for $7,000.
there’s a burn mark forming in the granite.