I kiss the chauffeur

holding the wrong name

away like bloody offal


I correct him with my mouth, I am so tired

of shadows and ink at airports and trains and all

the bus stations. I didn’t have to rush to Bulgaria


to be alone. I could have been alone with C.

or R. or anyone but H. If you had a full name

I could not be alone with you. G. would call

this abstraction and H. would never call

this a choice, she’d call these facts. I know facts:


1) I see other people kiss

see kisses while pedals are still

spinning — how he rushed

and the bike and the red bike fell.


2) Tonight K. spoke hypothetical so well it could have been

German. We had hypothetical gestalt. I blame the bar

there was no electrics, only candles, the owner

so afraid of a shock, so fearless of fire. And K.

so serious about the squish and blast of us

of course I had to


tell you how many hypotheticals I’ve ruined

or how many hotels and motels and inns

I’ve covered in dust. Hallways of frozen dust

up north, crocodile sheets down south, the tub

in Rome and all the nights in the motel of my own flat,

the odd alone of my mother’s home. Even a hotel

in Zadar, the only town I’ve been bashed by a Z,


kissed a woman with a wine-stained face, yet woke only

with purple on my ribs, purple everywhere, I was so

in love the whole city was purple, 3) mornings alone, left

side of her face faded and the hypothetical woman faded

and the purple faded and still there are those

who hurry off trains, who travel light so they can hurry

off planes, luggage in only one holding hand


4) I take everything with me when I go.



First published in 3:AM Magazine, April 2013