Some morning glories still hanging on past Thanksgiving. I couldn’t tell if the book was a fascist fantasy or a paranoid fantasy. Omnidirectional violence. You can’t just Urban Dictionary it. All the Christmas bulbs swaying on their fishing lines. Always on the edge of illness. I wanted to tell you about the Justin Timberlake song’s instrumental rendition. I had packed pajamas and toiletries and left my suitcase in my office during the rally. Lying in bed and reading off your phone screen for hours. It’s not a crisis it’s a plan. Years later I suddenly realize the boundary he’d tried to set. Dollar bills taped to the wall & curling away. What is the relationship between the past the future the present. How to still this incessant panic. Wanting to hold your hand although or because I didn’t agree with you. Was it a poem or a lab notebook. We wanted to be like tinsel moving slightly in the breeze. But also to lift our voices into the rapidly darkening park. I don’t believe that these judgments are valueless. It’s not an opportunity it’s a scam. The photograph of the bar façade made something small clench in your torso. How you learned where your home was. What kinds of healing ritual. I had to ask my students if I was using the slang term correctly. Resting your wrists on the cool cement counter. It’s not a plan it’s a coincidence. I had lost faith in the strength of professionalism. Instead I began class by talking about Beyoncé. The way the neglected body feels. When Christmas trees start to show up near bars’ front doors. We were crossing state lines to eat and lie on the couch. My body so full of history by which I mean chemicals. Wanting to know if geography means space. If history means time. The large Ziploc container of powdered cocoa. What did we believe about borders. When I looked up the book I found a page of quotes and each was the thing I most needed to read. Who slipped into the demonstration quietly and retreated into a police officer’s car. You know what they say about paranoia. All the bloody seams slowly unraveling.
M C Hyland
1 February 2016