Thomas Patrick Levy

Author of I Don't Mind if You're Feeling Alone & Please Don't Leave Me Scarlett Johansson.

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STORIES

THIS IS MOSTLY YOUR FAULT

These hills are so old that my fall is soft and long. I touch the years in my throat. I touch my head against your belly. This is mostly your fault. The rivers are the same rivers that come down your neck and spine. These hills were made for you to come apart between. I move as fast as I can but I’m very worried. These hills were made for river, these hills were made for goats. My touch is made to make you warm but instead you are much like stone. Your sleeping bag is not something like a tomb. The windows are fogged but not for the right reasons. The rivers run all night, I can hear them over the sounds I want to make you make. Everything I say is mostly because of you. That is to say this is mostly your fault. That is to say earthquakes are not nightmares. These hills are not made for goats. These hills are not made for all the years I have to yell.

THIS IS MOSTLY YOUR FAULT

I am wrinkled and touchy. I keep thinking there are things in the world that I need to do before I die. I keep weeping a bit for no reason. Every mountain is unfathomable. Every mountain is less important as I get closer to the desert. Every moment feels like weak legs. I want to touch you on your legs. I think your legs are the white parts of the mountains. I think your legs are slick with river. I see you are in the clouds. I hold you so hard my fingers go numb. These are mostly your ears. My legs tingle. My heart this same way.

THE AIR SMELLS DIFFERENT

Your heart is not buried beneath a tree in the yard. There are only three tress in the yard. I tear up the roots of each one. Two are dying. You are not dying. I am only afraid of mountains when I’m standing on the top of them. I can’t move mountains. I can move you. I pick you up because holding you is as near to holding your heart as I can get. There are not enough trees. It smells different. You get smarter every day. I have dirt beneath my fingernails. The dirt smells different. I really really want to find your heart. I look where it smells. I listen.

THIS SONG IS A MESS

When you are humming I am trying hard to recognize all these things I’ve been doing wrong. You’re never sad enough. I realize I don’t make eye contact well. I can put so many things up above my head and I think this means I can protect you. Your songs are never around when I need them. Your songs are never bullet proof. I sit down on the couch. I sit down and listen to your problems. I hum along until my body stops reacting. Sometimes it’s all about determination. Sometimes I cough until I puke. Sometimes I can hum through these hurts. It’s a terrible mess. It’s a terrible terrible mess.

I AM TELLING ALL THESE LIES

This time I am going to make everything make so much sense. This time it is not going to be a dream. Your arms will be wild and I will be touching your shoulders with fingers made of mink. I will be saying I AM NOT ALL ALONE ANYMORE. I will not by lying to you. This time it is going to be a song but you will have forgotten how it goes. It doesn’t matter if you wake up and tell me that it doesn’t make any sense. No matter how many times I try I will write the same thing to you every evening.

THE GIANT ARMS OF THE MOON

In the ground there are so many of your arms. I find them when I go out in the yard to dig with my claws. I find them when I turn on the stereo and the speakers hum that sound you like to make when I’ve been bad. Sometimes I can’t sleep. I stare at the floor and think THE DOG WILL CHOKE ON ALL YOUR ARMS. There is a moon and the moon has these giant arms that come down and pull out chunks of my hair. I am not afraid of you. I use my arms to pick you up and you are song. For a long time this sort of shit keeps happening. The dog is having a dream. My eyes are closed.

I DON’T FUCKING LIKE YOU

There are always weird little birds chirping in the morning. They are chirping because this is a poem. The sunlight is bright and it’s all up in your hair. Your hair is messy because it’s morning. You’re in your underwear. Your underwear isn’t really that sexy but I don’t care. The birds don’t exist. The neighbors are really quite and I’m not sure they like us. Why don’t our neighbors ever like us. In the morning there are never any birds and I don’t ever see your hair because in the morning my mind doesn’t function comfortably. I see the black and the grey of a dream. I see your sunlit hair. I add a cliche to another cliche. I say YOU NEVER LIKE ME ANYMORE.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH ALL MY ARMS

I can carry the stars and sing the same song to you. I can carry you and you can sing the stars. I can carry our dog and sing the song to her while she growls at the neighbors and the neighbors watch informational videos on their television through the wall late at night with the sound on too goddamn loud. I can carry the stars because it’s late and because I can’t sleep my legs ache. I can carry you and you can sing the song. The song goes on for ever. The song is really just a bunch of dust wonderfully disappearing. What can I do with all these hurts. What can I do.

MY SHIRT IS RUINED

I don’t want to touch you when I wear my best shirt. When I’m alone I don’t want to touch you. When I want to touch you your hair is a mess. When I want to touch you I don’t want to wear my best shirt. When your hair is a mess I am in the shower washing spice off my fingertips. When your hair is a mess my palms are roughed. I am tough but I want to touch you. I go to sleep too often. I look out the window and pretend you are asleep. My shirt is wrinkled. There is still so much floor. I am not wearing a shirt. The floor is cold.

THE DIRTY FLOOR

When you are angry I am sad. I have ruined the floor with all our furniture. It’s wicked. Think how I am never going to move again. Think where we are going to go, sick and knotted, another country and all our things. You can’t smell the wrecked things we keep beneath the floor. You can’t see them either yet you see. You see that we are alone and then you see that there is a box of disgusting words. There are many boxes and when I crush them flat there’s nothing wrong.

NO ONE WANTS YOU TO TALK DIRTY TO THEM

No one wants your ceiling stains. No one is home long enough to notice I am talking clean to you. I lift so many things. My lower back is full of string. I come home. You are on the couch I never leave. I drink dark green drinks. I say THE YARD IS FULL OF WORMS. I have a battery in my neck. I keep moving all night and in the morning I go to sleep. There is someone in another country waiting for us. There is someone in another country talking dirty in another language. He says YOU ARE ALONE AND NO ONE WANTS YOUR WORDS. His lover rarely wears lingerie. I wonder how these nights keep slipping. I wonder how long until the sheets are white again.

YOU HAVE BEEN GONE SO LONG

Your hair is sometimes the only thing I cannot remember. I think are you are only eyes. I am home late again. There is always a meaning for this. It has been a while or it will never happen again. I try hard not to paint. I try hard not to lie. I try and it is hard when you are looking at me this many times. Your hair sometimes is awake. You are sometimes moving and I know that in the morning I won’t give a fuck. You understand me. You understand. You sometimes come home late but not much. I sometimes pretend to cry and when it doesn’t work I log more hours. Don’t apologize.