On Faggotry and Disaffection Pt.4

Hello Jake, it is 1:21 AM and you never read a single thing I wrote. I never gave you a single thing I wrote. We were content to know that it was happening not needing to see that it was happening; your ankle had to set itself down and come together. Your ankle was finally coming together. It is still 1:21 AM and you are statuesque and I am pliable unlike most my age. Your roommates had many bruises, many ornaments on their shins, and I was peculiarly entranced. Being in a pink building next to a beige building in the middle of the block. The song you send me after months calls me a muse: the rats in my walls listen to me quite well and I am obliged to listen back. Tyler says they’re my fuzzy roommates ever since my cats moved out. We must have driven around for an hour in those few blocks, just trying to park all the while I don’t know what was playing but I know it wasn’t NPR because NPR is the only station I can relax to in my car and I would have been lulled tenderly into a half-sleep, the rock of the car, the slow street signs, you moving my foot via my leg off the dash, it was all so sweet and swerving except you can’t hum along to NPR and I was jumping in and out of my seatbelt energized as I was writing to a dead man all summer. I was not driving and I should not listen to things that make me liable to curl up and sleep while driving. Should is not do and you were shrewd enough to know what to do facing down a host of 9-5ers all gunning for the same spot. I am a muse if these strange and foul creatures declare themselves artists or one great artist, devouring one another’s chatter to make a singular sound, stating the greatness of togetherness. I speak, of course, always, of the rats. I wonder back to the objects themselves and their producing sound which could be poetry as it is not music. If I weren’t emerging onto the scene shirtless except for the circle Autumn drew around my hickey I would be drawn to being drawn. Thinking that the closing scene must have been at dawntime on the rooftop, I recall that I was not there and you encountered it alone. It is no longer 1:21 AM. 3 hours early you read this. The recurring window. With your head and right foot out in the air as if I weren’t shaking in the rain like my cats and storming to Emily’s to scream in the elevator about the academy and my celibacy. A panoramic shot. A hungry gaze eating up the sprawl of pastel hills from 2,876.3 miles away. Like Julia said, the rain which pounds here is not an illusion. The sun there is not an illusion. The sun here is an illusion. Your bones are back together and you and your roommates and your roommates’ friends who asked how young was I must be bombing down the slope in the Mission, past paused traffic, past pedestrians, under the electric wires mired with birdshit and the weight of yesterday’s mist and today’s wind. I think that my poems failed. I do not need finer wool, I need finer hands. Everything that is is enough. All the materials that bleed in and out and back back in again will do just fine. Hello Jake, it is 1:56 PM now having taken the week to write you this only to derail and lecture you. I’m sure I was a derailment in your life but I am so in love with being lost and unsure that I want to tell you these things. How many times can I say Hello before it gets weird? No one listens to letters anymore. I could text you now. Hello Jake. You never responded to the letter I never sent. Hello Jake. We are coming to a moment. Husnaa spent hours cutting paper snowflakes. Hanging over the doorway, some have words on them. We waste not the butter crusted on the pan; two extraneous egg whites fluffed in a small metal bowl cake themselves in the brown butter drippings. I’m telling you all this because you never met a single one of my friends. I had a college boy like you said I did, and he never asked about you. I have a handful of chocolate chips which I don’t really care for. I programmatically raise them and melt them with my inner lip. In one large bite. I could have another handful. Because that’s what people do. And running and sliding my tongue over the smooth chocolate lodged in the dips in my molars. It’s tough, the tartar bridging the gap between my canine and my next tooth over. I remember sleeping, sleeping strangely. Strangely the sleep stops and I do not start moving but stop moving as I kept moving towards you in my sleep. Sleep, lightless and velvet– I do not know him but I remember him. Does anyone say this? Of me or anyone? Butter– folded into the dry bowl– radiates its own blanketing scent. I’m calling to you, unmoored as you is. I don’t know when the letter to you ends. To know it has ended is to know what will come. Don’t kill me– I’m still talking. Talking to an audience I’ve summoned. If I were sleep talking would it sound more like a poem? I must talk in my sleep. Turning simply towards the dazzling space gathered into this– whatever this isn’t. I’m sure the letter must have ended because I’m not in the least bit skeptical, I think? Right. Left. Both of my hands sweat as I scribble out goodbye.

Joel CampoComment