Dead By Now

What you don’t want are men unaware of how weapons work, people so pretty they’re not sure what scars are.

You’ve dropped enough hints how you’re going to hell, who you’ll see there: you’ve bought drinks in advance of it, offered seats, you’re saving them, because people you’ve met are going there too. Redemption’s a primary school fable, a fairytale for network TV.

You sacrifice yourself easily, like Tom Cruise but without hesitation. You’ve not got wives to consider. Your face isn’t, well, his. But I still like it.

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There’s Something You Should Know About Me

I won’t waver. Change, you sense like strangers’ star signs, like the contents of meals in restaurants, spice slipped.

Once, we got drunk together. We forget it happened, won’t mention imprints the other left.

I’ve been alone, often, and in six years you’re the only. In bed your legs look like Alicia Silverstone’s on the cover of Clueless and don’t just say that’s a viewpoint. I’ve seen you standing up too.

I like your back best, shirts skimming shoulder bones, unkempt weight. We’re not even programmed to remember what we’ve seen most, necessarily. I worked at Subway for six years and all that’s left is the smell, lingering in pits of cotton.

I watch my trailer door, even when you’re not coming. I want you to come, believe I’m not the 2006 version. That was years and so much has changed, that I know you feel in contours, cards. I’ve read your blog. And if James Van Der Beek’s due a revival, why not me?

You Think We’ll Ever Find Redemption For The Things We’ve Done?

Jack thinks once he’s made a mistake he’s broken, done, that’s it, hell. But I’ve always thought there were shots, hopes, chances for other, insert word here. The saving I offer is non-specific: could be picturesque or apocalypse. I’m ironing out the details.

Jack says, “On TV it’s simple. They underestimate criminals, expect more of the same, once bad, always bad. See them reaching for a gun, don’t think maybe it’s a mobile.”

“I was taught the same at school,” I tell him. “Don’t trust people. But redemption’s free if you want it enough and if you can really prove it, if the priest approves it and you get your blessings on time. I crossed arms across my chest, wished I’d had blinkers on, not watched Charlotte take bread, wine, and then John take it. I felt one step from the divine, one rung off of it.”

Jack makes a list before bed of every wrong thing he thinks, the number of times he’s thought it, and every action he’d undo or re-do differently if you could rewind and tape over life like VHS, or just snap the disc in half if it’s DVD. He asks if I’ll read it but I won’t because my wrong’s between me and the sky. I watched it leave the tops of my fingers as I breathed prayers over them, and I won’t retread what’s gone, wiped, forgiven already. I like to forget ex-boyfriends/girlfriends.