The sky has come in from the coast as grey scars
And my ex texts to let me know her stomach
is disfigured. But she isn't disfigured.
So I have on gone to Cafe Dolce
with my headache, with some small
voice in the back of my head telling me
that the way I've been flipping words
lately gone on gone on going on on going on
is the start of a tumor
in the Broca's area of my brain.
I would like for this to be the world:
when I text her back our scars
make us strong, I want that to be
what she needs to hear. I want to say
the right thing for every hard moment.
And if not that world
then this: when she replies
and ugly and ugly and ugly
I want to undo everything
for her–all the valuing, the under valuing.
Empty gestures. Look: I'm standing
here pointing at the monster–
the monster is invisible.
At the cafe people laugh
with their hands, and stroke
their necks, and reach across the table
juggling their palms to say
sometimes there is a balance in life
that can't be caught up by words.
I for grey feel the sky. There again.
By the dock the water
dimples with hail.
To place gulls,
we’ve come to consensus
on water. We've coupled
the horizon and blue together
with the droplet
beading on our neck. Here it is:
we will whisper
with the cadence of waves,
as if in a sphere
a house waits, emptied
by a darker blue. Or
in a house a sphere waits,
haloed by gulls. Or
our mouths are ports
where we dock the nameless.
Out beside the lake
Jordon has taken off his clothes
and gone in as natural
as nova traces–
he is bodied by rain,
or wet with the tails of comets,
or feathered by dividing movement,
by flesh and condensation
that contours our hands
like the bands of turquoise
running through the lake
lightly flattened like the lines
of comets, or intent, falling away.
Mackenzie Cole’s work has appeared in Big Sky Journal, Still Water, Camas, 491, and elsewhere. He is the founder and janitor of Milltowne Press, and he lives in Missoula, Montana, where he received his MFA from the University of Montana.