(((it’s an hour to the show where are you???)))

tonight I’m wearing a hoodie & a tank

a man watched me from behind stacks of large rubber tires

I walk back from the dark apartment w my hands in my pockets
It smells like halal meats, I observe the rusted white metal fence swung open, the sloping tiles of the sidewalk on this quiet street, the two-layer brick houses
small in this part of queens.

the light skinned girl dips her head down, her blond bun fro up suddenly
arcs her fist in a gorgeous slow motion swing
mid crosswalk, mid day, the boy ducks, just a flash
of his crewcut and black
hair- Dominican?- turns, his hoodie flaps against his back, I
keep walking.

In Akshat’s apartment, the bleak rectangle of space, a stark white bulb, plaster white and a pathetic poster, some half hearted attempt–and a mattress
a small rickety table where he clumsily pulled out cheap dry red wine and two glasses
the rusted stove padded with aluminum foil, where he cooked me chana masala
and told me about India, his thin, beautiful brown fingers and sharp features
the too-short bright blue sweatpants and the stripes
racing down, cutting an inch before his ankle, awkwardly paired with the polo–please, take your shoes off, you can sit here—

Woody buys three slices and throws out the third.
I stare at him. He doesn’t notice. These days
he’s not homeless in LA anymore. Money is water. Later
I will say this to myself, when I lose my foodstamps and owe rent, owe other people
the money they paid for my rent: money is water, shivering, walking home
with my arms crossed and it is late, from the show. I am not in love w you
anymore, I tell Woody, I was never in love with you, I say this as the show
we are watching roars fuchsia
the music wilting around us
the room painted strange colors
the singer’s face beautiful

(((Now Violet,
I’m passing Fifth on this R train, it’s not like the F, the seats are orange
and there are no glowing signs telling me where we’re going
I read FIFTH in tiles, beyond the wide subway window, and why haven’t you texted me?)))

In the stalling car Janet almost kisses me. I almost kiss her. What I mean to say is,
we should have kissed. Our mouths should have poured
into each other
that rushing way you do when the world
wants you to push, push push into something,
through something,
and all those useless layers of skin between us thin out into a breath

What I mean to say is, she has a twinkle-bell voice, and we drove through the neon
lit streets, with their random and bright signs flagged
by green numbered signs and sliding buildings, the endlessness
of it, twisting, slowly, through the dark, and she reaches for her gym bag
wearing glasses I never see her wear, and a silk pocket–keep it,
she says, grinning, with shining, delicate red lips.

Chris looked at me over our steaming bowls of soup, the famous and yet homey
Chinese restaurant: Flushing, in an uproar: a casual Sunday afternoon
with sunlight, and he tries to kiss me on the train, curly grey hair and all–and I hate him, and I hate myself, and I feel exotically female. I eat.
Bean cakes, cookies (before I lost the foodstamps)

It’s a lie, what they say, about not being able to to see stars
in the city. I’m seeing them now, I’m in Brooklyn. I hear the show dimly, through this wall. I’m waiting for you. Janet’s song pours in through my headphones, crescendo
in this clear night: “all the walls/I could fall/with my wondrous silence”

(((Violet buys me a drink. To apologize
for being late, for not answering my phone. Whiskey. I only
drink whiskey, nowadays. She kisses my cheek, twice. Red lipstick. Sad and drunk. I’m leaving, I tell her. She nods)))

again in the subway. always: the subway. To see you, and
the faces wash themselves back into my eyelids, into the heart
of my palms and then, we are
flowing. Insistently, through the deep tunnels,
and then there you are, it all pops and there you are.

Right there, at the top of the stairs where the L line meets the NQ
because you knew, exactly what tunnel I was coming through and you’re
reading a book and I want to kiss you like I did in the dollar store
in summer. In the blizzard where I filled my lungs
with you. Pure dizziness. Isn’t that crazy? You have a bag of bean cakes
you bought without foodstamps. You make me a promise, we’re on a platform
You drop sweetness in my hand like a coin.