Drew Kalbach


Your expectations lead you out of the clouds and into a place where water runs down the walls and your voice echoes all night.

Nothing could be better than here. My hands inside an overcoat grasp at the seams.

The enormity of the distance between your legs makes me cross my ankles and cringe.

Falling wasn't hard when we were together. I took off my pants and covered myself with a cloud.

We left my house and walked slowly through traffic. You wanted to tumble over and over and over hundreds of cars.

I wanted to watch!

The bees that were my hands swarm into my closet at the first sign of loneliness.

In the real life of anything I would think this place is beautiful.

I'm wrapped up in strange hair and my feet feel all tingly and alive.

I can't walk from one place to another without moving my arms together back and forth in step with my legs, and though this grabs the attention of everyone around me, I feel more alone walking through cotton bodies in crowds than I do sitting in a fountain scrubbing my face with bleach and chunks of fallen clouds.

When we have sex, it's always dark. You ask to crawl under my bed afterwards, and that's OK. I want you to burrow into my rug. I want you to make friends with the mice underneath my heater.

I know I will.

My lungs are full of water and failure. Breathing is difficult inside a cloud full of geese and screaming children.

If I could reach my hand through your lungs, I would.

But I need fires and waves. Long rolling waves of burning clouds, my hands in your lungs, the basement steps thin and cracked.

My ears hurt so I take them off. It’s the only sensible thing to do. I try so hard to be sensible! When the clouds reach into my bedroom at night I curl into a ball and pretend to be asleep.

Really, I am dreaming about your ears. The tight spiral of them, the deep handshakes they make in my direction.

I hide from the clouds to be a part of your skull.

I need the future, already determined, to shift quietly into the past.

It felt good, tearing myself apart. The moon was up and purple. We were hundreds of feet above the ground. I straddled your body and

Love comes to those that don't deserve it, love comes to those that never need it.

And the bright corners of your lips kept my hands in line as I stitched around my wrists and across my fingers.

We fell through lightless clouds together as you vibrated like a washing-machine.

Drew Kalbach lives in Philadelphia. He is the author of the chapbook THE ZEN OF CHAINSAWS AND ENORMOUS CLIPPERS (Achilles Chapbook Series 2008) and of the e-chapbook THEATER (Scantily Clad Press 2009).

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