Two Texts

John Mortara


after november / in a slow fade / i cut old dust out of the sidewalk / to eat at our funeral / broke breadcrumbs back to my own bed / like you said / i keep no friends in my sheets anymore / can’t stop playing this game called ‘poem / or smoke alarm’ / stuck as my own ghost / haunting my own fingertips / steadfast in a snowy parking lot laughing at the sunrise / finally standing like a lighthouse again / because every day you loved me felt like the morning they dug the unborn teeth from my jaw / because every yes i ever said to you was my mouth too terrified to breathe no / and right now / i am just furiously reclaiming my body with as much ink as i can afford to buy / stars forbid it but if you ever break yourself back into this home of mine another relentless time / i don’t want you to recognize these walls i rebuilt in strength / like how you lived on this riverbank for an entire horse year / but never learned the water’s name / the shame i carry with me now is the first night gone from you that i remembered how to speak / how i buried the first person to love me again with my uncaged voice / how i carried a box of matches with me that whole brutal summer / my hands stuck poised to burn the bridge between us / but i couldn’t bring myself to it / and here it is now / at last in winter / thankfully in cinder / the truth is / the earth bleeds people like us towards the sun to keep itself alive / the truth is that a rabbit dies at the intersection of everywhere every idiotic day / that a dog abandoned / will either sleep away the wait / or tear the entire house / apart





the other night i played pool with a guy named brian and wrote down every single thing he said to me

hey john hey you can break you can break i don’t wanna break hey
am i stripes or solids hey john john hey we’re just two bros playing pool
hey i’m a commercial fisherman
my knee hasn’t even healed a sting ray got me on my long ass fishing trip
hey john hey john am i solids or stripes hey john
hey it’s your shot
i’m not worried are you worried hey
no!! i should have done the math
hey that’s funny i scratched on the eight ball
take your time take your time i already got next game
hey john play the next one with me too
i’m gonna have another beer and then hang out with my mom
i already saw my mom once today john hey
i saw my mom for lunch we went to the bookmill hey
i’m not worried are you worried my mom worries i don’t worry
hey we should hang out more
hey you ever been to the lizard lounge bro
hey take your time hey john
it’s not even ten thirty john
hey i want you to win this game john
but i also want to win this game
hey john i wish we could tie at pool
hey am i stripes or solids
hey john am i stripes or solids
i’m a commercial fucking fisherman john
my knee hasn’t even healed bro
i went on a long ass fishing trip and got stinged by a sting ray
all the fish are already being eaten and i don’t get paid till saturday
hey fish are eaten all over the world bro
hey i’ve got magical powers
we’re just learning pool i’m not even good at pool
you should have seen me play golf earlier john hey
i’m a lefty john
it’s hard being a lefty
hey am i solids or stripes hey
they don’t even have potatoes man
hey hey wanna see my knife hey look man oh i lost it
we’re just two bros playing pool john
hey i’m leaning up against the jukebox john
gimme your number we should go yard saleing together
i just got a fuckin sword at a yard sale hey
i’m a fuckin viking bro
i could kill a wolf bro
hey my knee hasn’t even healed yet
i don’t even have my glasses john hey
john i have ‘special eyes’ hey
john this is a photo of me on the jolly roger bro
giant friggin lobsters bro
i don’t name the boats i just go on them
hey we should do a bunch of shots together
hey i wish Hot Jen was here
hey i just ate a bunch of skittles because i do what i want john
hey john hey john
i love you