Tender Is the Night rises
from a desk drawer and I
catch up with you there.
This is a boom time for the manic
depressive memoir (you too bought
a spree of snakebite kits), the kind
you were writing when I knew you,
before you stopped and I went back
to red desert and gas-green lights.
Let’s remember how quickly we came
under neon-streak firefly trajectories,
dead like a story we already knew.
A story that wishes us one more
go around—you call by accident and I
pick up the phone and a tennis racket,
swing backhands, slice you away.
You come through the space
in the catgut anyway.
There is clay and a too tight smile
strung across my face as you pinpoint
that day defined by the sun gilt-edging
storm clouds, every elongated slide
a frictionless shot of memory.
The baseline side to side blurs
to nighttime bracelets of light in the town
below the sanitarium, I know
they’re interlocking, getting closer.
I touch my wrists and you touch your wrists.