I can’t go to the east village anymore
because it is like going on a tour
of my worst dates. I get older, my heart
leaps at the sight of children
who don’t belong to me, I pronounce
everything like an Italian opera title.
I used to listen to songs and have someone
in mind for the you parts, now I just want
to be where the light is intense, I want
the kind of heat that kills you
if you drive into it unprepared. This
isn’t a metaphor for anything else.
When I speak of the light, I mean the light.
I go to church and sing along and feel
just as moved as if my faith were blind.
When I speak of the blind, I mean
the light. Truly the only things Lindsey Lohan and I
have in common are our preoccupations
with fame and weight loss, and yet I recognize
a kinship there, as if those two things mattered
more than anything. When I speak of
the darkness, I mean this living.
In a restaurant called Caracas,
I once spent fifteen minutes arguing
about an Ayn Rand book because
every time he said Anthem I thought
he meant We the Living and I said
what dystopia, what about the woman,
and he said what about the Home
of the Infants and I said what
Home of the Infants? What about
loving a man so much you’ll sleep
with another man in order to finance
the first man’s tuberculosis treatment?
Welcome to Russia, I said, and we
were looking at each other and then
not. I tried to picture Caracas, tried
to leave him for elsewhere, a fever.