Other people’s comfort keeps me up at night

Today darling I am rising
from the lavender bathtub
of self-loathing. I don’t take drugs
to shut up I take off
my pants when I get home
and I stay there, red cup full
of cigarettes from heaven, ghosts
of all my friends between my toes.
I imagine them pouring vodka all over
each other wearing glitter.
The vision is closing in like a tight dress.
Meanwhile the moon
fills gray-green. The shops in the village are
leaking bodies. Spilt oil rolls over
cash like hands, some glorious bullshit.
What bothers me is the weight
of clouds under your fire escape, your
hand strange lines I feel
and can’t, one shared breath
of all the bulldogs in the park,
how I don’t notice an inch below
something wriggling in dark warmth
as if love or hunger never counted
and I was never meant to last. The nervous
breakdown doesn’t end.
It was only sleeping. And comes
back good and rested
smearing its eye boogers all over.
Says you’re an arrogant prick.
I say fuck you nervous breakdown.
It says open the curtains and look
down at all the people or
you may only share your bed with me.
I accidentally say OK.
When I can’t sleep I smoke
a dark cigarette and keep the curtains closed
so I can lose track of where I am
and who is here with me. I cut the faces
out of magazines and pile them
in the middle of my hardwood floor.
In the distance, that good old
rock n roll. This isn’t simple
if you want it to be. What my country
does for me is enter
me like a room, becomes the furniture,
the wall, the painting on the wall,
the white spot where painting used to sing.
Singing enters me, becomes the window.
Baby think of my skin
as the best part of the song. Take me
by the ribs and lay me at the bottom
of a dirty creek where I can
get a good view.
Morgan Parker


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