Sober II (Melodrama) | by Logan February

after Lorde.
for Eli, my perfect stranger

6 in the AM. Haven’t slept in years.
Lately, I’ve been dancing like I don’t
have depression. I open my mouth
into a dusk as dirty as the soles
of my bare feet. I taste rain from
the leaky roof, probably laced with
some toxin or another. Yikes. I’d text
you but I don’t have your number.
Something keeps crawling in my bed
& it’s not me. I streamline my whole
obsession, go full crazy & start
to crave death again. Wash dirty
hands with dirty water. I’m so fake
I didn’t even kiss you in my mind.
//
I didn’t even kiss you in my mind
regardless of all the shadows. I am
trailing terror across my teeth,
one by one. Can you tell from my pulse —
thick, rushing, elusive. I obsess, it’s fine.
Still, the thing in my bed is me, which
is terrifying. Serpentine. I didn’t know
I had a snake in me. But just imagine it.
Supposing every bright thing were
thoroughly darkened, what then?
I can’t be with you or without. Trick
question. Take a shot every time
I say kiss. 420. Blaze it. Or whatever.
My body emptied itself during the wait.
//
My body emptied itself during the wait,
so let’s say I finally got out of bed. Hair
tousled, shaved, bleached even. Brushed
my teeth and eyebrows. Got some
toothpaste in my eye, but please don’t
make me tell you how often I cry. I’m not
going down that road. Not today. Nope.
Today is a good day. You know,
sometimes, functional mostly just means
manic. I’ll be passive aggressive, lash out
at everyone but you. God, why you?
I don’t even know you. But. I have fresh
underwear on—I’m going to smile
until my face freezes in that position, yes.
//
Until my face freezes in this position? No.
Just take the damn picture already.
My chest hurts, I think I’m in love. I haven’t
broken my dusk skin with scissors in,
what, two months? Progress, right? Please
don’t forget me. We’re strangers I know, so
these promises are just make believe.
But then again, all of me is make believe
and I don’t believe. I just make, make. . .what?
I make a mess, fool of myself. I’m rabid
and I look like a dog. So why don’t you love me?
It’s high noon now, LOL. I should sleep,
except I can’t. Tell me again how I learned
to be lucid, to feel the knife and still not let go.
//
To be lucid, to feel the knife and still not let go,
is that weird? I don’t know, all my friends
think i might be a masochist. the word
i needed was feline, though I don’t own a cat.
I can’t take care of anything except my feelings,
which is toxic, but not as toxic as smoke.
At this point, I might die, man, can you hear
my heart? Can you? I just want you to touch me,
I imagine i would crumble, but so so slowly,
it looks like history erasing itself. Like
the coliseum falling into ruin. Yes, I do believe,
if you touched me, I would be ruined. I’m light
-headed. I call it the insomnia effect. Also, are
the windows getting wider or is that just me?
//
Are the windows getting wider or is that just me?
Huh. I’m a total escapist, I apologize. As if
I could make an art of it. Like Houdini, except
in love, and not dead. I keep getting distracted,
I swallowed so much smoke, still couldn’t fall
asleep. Strange, because usually I’m doing all
but swallow. When last I had a proper meal,
that’s one question too many. But what if the sky
took off its silk and stockings, stopped being
such a prude. Came downstairs stark naked.
What if I could love you like a song instead
of white noise. What if unicorns were real.
What if money could buy this exact fantasy.
No one knows. Or cares. At least not me.
//
No one knows. Or cares. At least not me.
So I ignore everything, leave it to ferment
into a good violent blur. Seconds become
liquid. I do too. Become liquid, I mean.
Fuck, I really messed this up, didn’t I? I’m
sorry. I don’t know how to love or be loved.
Only to want. Clean and desperate. I’m so
high I could taste a sea’s worth of salt,
all of it. I could learn to sing and i’d echo
for seventeen more years. I just want love.
Like white flowers, unfurling at dawn. Noon
is full of vanishing, my bed folded in on itself.
I sleepwalked all the way to your window. Again,
it’s 6 in the AM & it’s like I haven’t slept in years.

 

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Logan February is a happy-ish Nigerian owl who likes pizza & typewriters. He is Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Ellis Review. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tinderbox, Wildness, Glass, Bateau, and more. He is author of How to Cook a Ghost (Glass Poetry Press 2017) & Painted Blue with Saltwater (Indolent Books 2018). Say hello on Instagram & Twitter @loganfebruary.