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.
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.