to 5

    on the 5ives



At the bottom was a fine silt
with maybe a fish or a snake hiding.
We gathered at the base of a rock
that jutted upwards hundreds of feet
and talked about parties we'd been to.
Most people were in need of fun, or so it seemed.
But what was fun? Was fun a clever joke?
Was fun rolling in bed with a loved one
or the anticipation of rolling with a stranger?
Should we funnel our thoughts into something more sublime
like marvelling at nature and the size of rocks?

There was a girl with no skin.
You could see the blood in her body
going to different parts. She had a lot of tubes.
Her veins and tubes intertwined
so you couldn't tell which was which.
Her legs were bound tight in fetal position,
enclosed in plastic so her heart wouldn't have to work so hard.
A cat licked her lips while she told it, "mommie loves you."
With its hind legs the cat playfully pushed the girl's lungs
down her spine, bits of loose fur sticking to parts of the girl.
Girl loved cat. Her fur lung, she joked.
Then she said something about having thick skin.

You wanna fall down to the bottom of the earth?
C'mon. It's cool and sleepy and happy this time of year.
Hell has stopped burning and the pigeons are quietly dead.
The water is soothing against your flesh
as the sun sets in the back of your mind.
Love has promised it'll be different again
cool and sleepy, it likes to unwind a slippery coil
like a sewer snake or a mechanical scorpion,
wider with more feeling,
a glint of stinger on its black tail.
Warm fission,
lice cooing,
nice storm,
            —your father in exile at the mall
            —your mother playing in the yard when she was young
behind the rock is the sun somewhere
we stay in the shadow



joe maynard