what is america
if not a paper airplane flying contest
and when i was little
i was a regional champion

we would stand at the top of the hill
outside the daycare center
and boast of flaps and aerodynamics
and color pencil sponsorships

and then we would fly

my record was set
when i landed on the roof
of the nursing home
we never even thought about
the heaps of paper amassing
somewhere short of there

no-one is looking
through the peephole moon
to see the nothing we see
among walls growing sky
above the silence
of our machines

you can almost hear
your warm heart beating
an appliance

there is an ocean between us
a body of water between our two
with warships and submarines
patroling the coasts for remnants of bicker
stuck in a throat, a nerve, or a valve

like impromptu generals
we direct our forces in curlicues
until the angry ink runs out
and the lines look like whispers on ice

it's more like a pond, really

was that you
in the dorm room with unpainted walls
and the bed placed like in a prison cell
or an architect's drawing?
you had a sound soother in the window sill
and it was always close to dawn.
i remember walking back smelling like your hair.
one time i spilled hot chocolate in my crotch
and you wiped it off, or at least about.
we slowdanced on our knees back then
because it seemed less official that way.

it's halloween
oyster pearls
all the girls
become the whores
beneath their skin

a kosmonaut
just looking
through gossamer
falsity thin

we whirl into stillness
after old western gunshots
and silence and dust
and ringing echoes

my eyes are triggers
yours are trembling
we look away
like corridor workers

when the smoke clears
we peek around corners
with words of velvet
and cactus thirst

there's a neon fight outside
just something in the air
aching to collide

it strokes our window frames
an uneasy pulse
that knows our names

and there's not a lot of sound
but what there is
is in surround

descend in droves to luminous signals
tapping on eyelids and dark travels onward
by a stippled line on craquelure
a catamaran sea of resolute ground
rushes underneath slow motion
to disrobe an arch to feel
the warmth over the bones
under my hand clinging to
the guard rail through the night

i am stuck here. scratches from coins and keys come indifferently, like drops from heaven. men say they're running late. men say they're sorry. it travels through me to god knows where. i swallow what they give me. the stories disappear.