Then I saw the dead bird. The way home. Blur concrete when his eyes reflect mine the soft specks to dust gold of the shift and the shake of souls. Awake. Next to the garbage can. When this is love I want to scream silent until millions of atom bombs like rain drops explode behind your irises. Run sweet disaster. This.

the phone book's gone missing, and i tell him to look in the bed room. what's it doing in there? he wants to know. so, i remind him what we were using it for. he tricks a curl on the corner of his mouth and comes back with it. smiling.

Our phone's gone out at home.
I say to him should we get a new one?
He just looks at me, blankly. Shrugs.
Which was the right answer.

and i'm not telling.

about how when I arrived home, we paused slightly in the car park at the sight of a young man with a beer can in one hand and warm May-night-snow shovel in the other. Who disappeared shortly after I popped out of the car door and shuffled shifting for keys. Maybe I should call the police about some odd boy hanging around parked cars at night with a dull heavy object meant, my tragic mind of terror thought, for no possible good. I just went inside, instead, and fumbled for a bit with my red wine tongue against teeth about not having the right set of keys to check the mail. I turned on the light inside, accidentally, intending as decided in the hallway, to watch window-ward the strange shovel-headed disaster meant to follow. Flipped it off with a swear word and perched. Creaked window crack open and cursed the clunking fan.

There was a whir like fireworks flowers in July. A green buzz that hit and smoked and fell. Suddenly the shovel turned itself into three shrieking boys completed arms with axe and gun. Determined to kill whatever it was they'd apparently just shot. I've never seen a thing shot before. And it writhed on the ground as they screamed like 12 year olds with a new toy -- 'get it with the shovel!' 'hold it down' 'don't shoot while I'm over here' -- but the kid with the axe couldn't wait. And hushed the crowd as he lopped off the dying opossum's head without permission in between the shrubbery trees between my building and the house to which they must have belonged.

Grown men, these, I thought to myself. As electric blankets of nausea seeped from an aching spot on the bottom of my spine to the deep insides of my nose. Worse spaces than this exist than drunken felled sewer animals in a parking lot at night. It's only that we don't see them. Or choose not to for ourselves. The devastation we wreck, sometimes, in lives outside our own and never contemplate is one of the worst kinds of violence I can name.

i knew it was time
terribly gone wrong
to stop

When I come up for air, long enough. Flip the switch to the lamp light closed. I gulp darkness like oxygen. Search the folding expanse of dead rooms like the wrinkled remains of night sheets. No geographic movements, these. Of malapropisms and the desire of my discontent reverberations tucking like the tongue of me in your left ear. Like a word left misspelled. These motions through the seam of the room of the soft space between your lips. Unstuck to the memory of the movement. Of glome bird calls. And the way words wind themselves into soft pulsating bits left to stick. Feels the way sometimes. I lose myself. In the gap between your teeth.

than i. firecracker the moment. the drowned dream. of storms and egg shells and fingernail explosions. crack. the long way round. love. the word. this is the one i always woke up from and never like safes knew how to break. the way i'm unsurfaced in your exposures. recurring nightmare knew. catching lungs for air. the secret to breathing underwater. he

In approximately 3 hours, he'll arrive. And I'll stand in the parking lot holding his hands in the sunshine like there's a question I forgot to ask and the only language I have now is skin. Like fingers on the shell of him might render the concept of love into something seen. Knowable. No imaginary faith. Or the way clocks tick something like time. He quit his job. Packed everything that could fit of his life into the car. Left everything and everyone he knows. And drove 1500 miles. To be with me. Only--to be with me.

Soon. We'll both be home.

for the wedding

we're folding them out of recycled paper