Your body is a drug, and now that I’ve had a taste,
I’m addicted to your warmth. Remember
when we used to share my twin bed, you
mashed into the wall, me, on your head,
snoring. I made piles of the books
I read each month and tried not to drop
out of the world. You shared
an apartment with a gospel singer
named Princess, made things to eat I still
can’t spell, and tried not to cough
when I stood under the oven vent to smoke.
You’ve never forgiven the fact that I deleted
the first messages you sent me because I didn’t
know who you were. Now, I know:
you are warm, and you are quick.
I’m slow and wear socks to bed. But I did
your dishes, those first few times I came to visit.
Remember that, if nothing else.
Two months wasted at college brought my brother
back to work long hours in the Fish Shack, filleting,
dicing, however you please. He covered the wood
paneling of the converted garage with posters
of the Guess Who, Mountain, shelves lined
with boxes of 8-tracks, stacks of albums, piles
of cassettes threatening to topple. A wonderland
of baseball cards and 70s comic books. He lay
in his giant bed, listening to:
The Who: Live at Leeds
Cream: Live Volume 2
Jethro Tull: Original Masters
and dreamed of being a drummer, touring
Monterey, the Isle of Wight.
On long drives he quizzed me on FM music until
I learned Page and Blackmore, Kay from Burdon.
“Listen,” he’d say, shushing me for a solo
and then dissecting it afterwards. He devoured
Destroyer serials, quoted Mark Twain and Mel
Brooks, action movies and Shakespeare. “Remember”
he’d say: “No matter where you go, there you are.”
CL Bledsoe is the author of two poetry collections, “_____(Want/Need)” and “Anthem.” A third collection, “Riceland,” is forthcoming later this year. His web-chapbook, Goodbye to Noise, is available online from Right Hand Pointing and a mini-chap, “Texas”, is forthcoming from Mud Luscious Press. CL Bledsoe is an editor for Ghoti Magazine. He blogs at Murder Your Darlings, http://clbledsoe.blogspot.com.