I wish he didn’t ask.
How’s it going with you and…?
Gleaming Herakles tilts his lynx ears toward Orion.
I hope the glancing-eyed Archer is too absorbed in the sport to see.
My pallor, draining into shrugged shoulders.
Leaving a gaze cement, mechanical.
Since when is this July?–my hands are so cold.
I’ve been praying I could maybe feel that summer breeze, been praying the Earth would stop spinning so fast.
Why does she have to spin so fast?
She just keeps spinning and spinning…
And if there’s anything I’ve learned.
Forward motion doesn’t pull over to the side of the road for anything.
But, sometimes, you can lean against that gravitational pull–
Step one, walk to the kitchen after the game and make a cup of tea.
Which, I was hoping you’d be there, watching me pour the boiling water.
Watching me feel proud of how I don’t want to burn myself while I’m pouring the boiling water.
And see me use the steeping roots you gave me.
The calming Kava and bright Licorice.
Letting the steam curl to my face–
But I am alone.
Step two, walk to the amphitheater, sit down, and breathe.
Breathe in the steam, Breathe like she taught you.
Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four. Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe In one two Hold one two three Breathe Out one two Hold one two three Breathe
Herakles arrives in his Shadow way.
Not gleaming so much.
He sets the oak roots of his legs at almost right angles.
Sitting behind me like a tower.
How is it, really?
Don’t really know
All right, you don’t have to talk about it
I feel like I’m hitting my head against a wall
I’m sorry to hear that
Sip the scorching tea.
Is that supposed to help
And then I: Flash Flood, Flash Flood like I know how
The glancing eyes the careful steps the shoulders turned away the vapid smiles the waning conversations the fresh smell of Lemongrass the Earth spinning the Sun just not caring the uninterrupted nerve endings the frustrated nerve endings the trying to go hunting the promise to find the creek the tugging towards the Ocean the two years ago in my apartment the therapist’s couch the empty hands the music’s cackling decadence the tossing and turning at night
God I hate this song
It drips like the condensation on a cold glass of water.
It burns like the fire Leo stokes in the pit below.
The music, the Earth spinning–
Herakles looks at me like a river and says,
Come on, let’s get out of here