I will tend to you like the snapped threads of a broken fan.
In a movie script we are sweating in a small motel room, there is a pink handkerchief wrapped around my forehead. It is impossible to tell one water for another.
Dreams where you are naked and running through grocery stores. Dreams where you hold out your hand and it is glimmering with algae, trash. Dreams where the aloneness of being alone turns better men ravaged, and I become the forgotten steak too mangled for feasting.
I grasp with fingers more akin to claws as I am told in every sequence just let go. How to snap without losing balance. The long threaded footfall of where, headed.
I can’t help but turn a question in subtle rounds. What comes first the murder or the murderer? What I am asking is simple — when is the thing that happens? And how do we become it?
In the religion of my childhood, the content of your mind is irrelevant to outcome. This was seen as forgiving: Judgement only in perceivable movement. Reality only what has existed already. You can have dirty thoughts, with a tight smile, and still be innocent in the courtroom of your god.
Such solid lines make me think wound. A tear that is Cartesian in its inaccessibility, its push to grip a mouth around the absolute.
And what about all of the things I didn’t say? Where do they reside in the landscape of this absence. The ground underfoot, a map, twisting into red line of could have as far out as the horizon.
In imagined planes I dance while sweat accumulates on every crest, though without dehydration. A green water relieves me. There is no place like this — and so, every spring the salmon are shot through small cannons in order for them to make it upstream, past the dried parts. The Colorado River runs often as a nest of alluvium deposits and tightly wound hosing. Where it splashes there are cameras ready to deliver. Deep rock sits, waiting. Waiting for the big leak.
It seems I’m always finding cups to pour myself into. Always finding words that sound like you. Always finding elegies for whispered thoughts, for decay. For the slow stolidness of an imagined face.
Skin as it builds. Amassing in soft waves— violent in insistence to dapple back with eyes. The edge of your teeth is hard against my sternum.
Please, I whisper, do not go away.
hannah rubin is a writer, poet, artist, and educator based in LA. Their writing about queer ecologies and trans aesthetics has appeared in Canthius Journal, Rivulet, Berkeley Poetry Review, smoke + mold, and Ghost City Review, as well as other publications and anthologies. They co-host a monthly radio show called mellow drama, and teach sticky poetry in living rooms, backyards, and galleries around LA.