i see a bougainvillea the size of a sign that says “road work ahead”; no
it is a sign that says “road work ahead” and it is the color of bougainvilleas
it’s that our mind is always turning trash into flowers, not the other way around
(that is the beautiful thing)
the cactus closes up its gentle green flowers to wait out the heat of the day
and i am grateful for this gesture, so i may smell them again tomorrow
and we’re all still alive today, the whole world is vibrant and full and living;
even if it is difficult, i will crawl on my hands and knees toward sweetness
hard 2 write a poem
abt sittin around the house all day doin nothing
which is why i have crushes
which is why i step out of the house every now n then to look at the clouds, i mean to smoke a
cig i mean to smoke a cigarette and god willing notice the clouds
it is Cloud Season, i call it that way to myself and to anyone who will listen assuming it comes up more or less naturally in conversation—them: did u see the sunset last night? me: oh my god, yeah… (pause) i call it Cloud Season,
the clouds are so extra this time of year, they make all the sunsets look miraculous. anyway at least one person has been into it, started calling it Cloud Season, too
i do it cuz it’s romantic, same reason i romanticize bodies, romanticize distance. it’s easier to yearn for things that are far away, so i have crushes on emotionally unavailable men or people literally basically all the way across the country; have crushes on clouds. what did the poet say? longing, because desire is full of distances. [ed: looked it up: Longing, we say, because desire is full / of endless distances.] i’m just saying the same thing with more words and less eloquence and that’s ok, too. i can feel myself burning. a metaphor, maybe, but also it’s hot as hell and i just cut a pepper and rubbed my nose oops, now my nose feels all peppered and that’s not a metaphor at all, just fact and a useless fact at that
which one could say begs the question of what, in fact, is a useful fact. a cooking hack? i’m always ping-ponging between the utter meaninglessness of it all—and i mean that in a matter of-fact way, not as something depressing, altho i do find it time to time somewhat depressing —and the xistential imperative of making things matter, finding patterns. and i walk a tightrope btwn the two, telling myself that interestingness is not a subjective thing, i think it’s something about texture & complexity, and so it’s worthwhile to create even just a story in my own brain about the clouds, something that didn’t exist before but now & forever always will have existed, an infinitesimal wrinkle in the ether.
& i suppose for that reason i can’t be sad ur far away,
perhaps it’s more interesting this way.
ur touch like a heavy universe & now i remember
the feeling of having a body
& now i remember ur body or imagine it:
but when i say “perfect” i don’t mean it, not
in the way that makes me scared when i hear it:
no i mean perfect
like pitted stone, carved out by salt
perfect like a sweaty day in this dying world so alive:
cicada song and burnt grasses.
perfect body like mine, perfect awakening
the trees and rivers of
—yes i am suddenly open
i’ll eat u up like an apple, eat u up like a pear
patch of sunlight.
ACCRETION, TEXTURE, DENSITY
something I learned, or invented: each body is a phrasing of the same idea.
that’s what I like about the city: how the city repeats itself, each repetition adding texture:
so many pairs of nike air max
bodega bodega bodega
pigeons stamped out like kid pix
& a different person every day with the, yo nice ink
save frictionlessness for user flows n web apps let this body be misunderstood. let the city smell like curry, car exhaust, hot August garbage. let the city be hot sweet crush of humans curious swarm,
as unknown as birds.
if each body phrases differently the ineffable, how, exactly, would you put it?
would you have a soft white belly?
how electric will the touch be? this is why I want to kiss you.
I am trying not to be selfish, but I am wondering how you taste
Hannah Joyce (she/her) is a poet and software developer. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.