Selfie with Cracked Mirror and Vice


What would you say
if you told the truth about your life?
Thirst / the blue hour; it sneaks into cracks
and stays there. More wanting: I wanted to be an essay
but I’m becoming a howl. I wanted to be
a cowboy in jeans, a pop star, a beam
of light. Silhouettes stir in the corner of my eye,
but they live in different cities now. All the empires
to which I belong? They live in this face,
in the crooked double staring back, in
the Rome of my young hands and
the America of my wayward mouth.
I want to finish this bottle and finish
the battle. I want to slip on a leather jacket,
churched in gasoline and burning red. Red-red-
red. I want to finally make good
on the promise of a world. A country.
I want you to know my mom is healthy now
and I can call her whenever, feel her smile
through the digital scrim. I want you to know
this life will go on and on, new problems
resting their head on the full belly of
the old ones, but tonight we could be
tender. Tonight, I could unravel, un-travel:
top down, driving 100 miles-per-hour across
the stormy salt flat of me; be careful because
you will see lightning. Tonight we could meet
in the space between a reflection and
its source, between shame and whatever
comes after, if only to try, to try, to
try—if only to break all these rules
we’ve spent so long writing.