Vanessa Gabb

Skydeck Selfie
everyone out smiling
one another in the city up in
a crack binge last night out
on the ledge a real life 
didn't move me
to say things like i don't know
like i know i don't know just
like i meant them but didn't
really mean all the little i brought with me

i say things just to hear them
outside my mouth even if they mean
doesn't matter to me
i don't know whose film i think
i am in this fire
watching the history of burning
watching a film
on the history of the burning
is watching myself burn and wait to be rebuilt

if they are going to make us watch this
they should tell the truth
there are children here lovers walking away
believing no one fell and no one fell
smashed red to come and not think
about exploitation
to think about exploitation and want to say this
this is what i think of and speak of
walk with me

williams says love is unworldly and nothing comes of it but love
and nothing
stays in me more than the same person
for more than three thousand days
i have been the same
person for more than three thousand days
we are one hundred
stories the one hundred stories

this just aint it this just aint
I looked him dead and said nah
he said are you sure that's you
speaking are you
about tomorrow
i don't know i don't know i don't know
what does it mean to know anyhow
does it mean you have happened to yourself
unequivocally the clouds continue

have you ever tried
to let your body listen?
have you ever
thought of changing your hair?
what color would it be
if you didn't think I was that man
if you heard these words
before you started thinking
they were bad

i am trying to be no better than good
just good at knowing
what it really means to be me what does it
a woman on line with the tits i want
to have sex we haven't had since
we landed it's gone
my way for awhile so i walk along
the top of this place so he can take photographs
and i can look at him and look at him and take nothing like photographs

Vanessa Gabb is the author of Weekend Poems (dancing girl press, 2014) and midnight blue (forthcoming, Porkbelly Press). Recent poems have appeared or will in Luna Luna, The Boiler Journal, and dusie. She is the co-founder of Five Quarterly and teaches at Newark Academy. More stuff at

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