How will I ever get there.
The cactus-lined highways,
backseat of the car.
When war isn’t even touching me.
That I can say war isn’t touching me is war.
Remember someone’s father took us here.
First hills then huge chasms. Then hills again.
Then the road not even a road but a garble of pieces.
Those who think war isn’t touching them, only grief.
I furious in the backseat.
Speeding through the world
all green and pink. Salt, instinct, element.
To take away meaning to just be grief: a cactus.
The vault of the mind,
the vault of the chest.
Sandy soil the cactus grows best in.
We cannot find the parents’ house: everyone here is named Campbell.
This is war; which is to say, this fact is due to war.
It more-than pricks.
All my blood is still confused, thinks it’s someone’s.
I am a waiver, a pink slip.
Green as a cactus, a who-cares type green.
An even less than.
This is war, grief.
We are all backseat drivers don’t you see.
And exhausting me, you do it best so that
grief I am most awake in you.
I am as blunt and necessary as a thumb, and as ugly,
puzzled, at war with myself again.
Again, as if ever I wasn’t.
All my shoes feel wrong and so I stay in.
Still war touches me,
it touches every such.
How and by whom any object came to exist.
And came to be what I think of as ‘mine’
when I think uncomplicatedly.
What pricks we are.
Anybody, I mean.
You hurt me. So
I hurt like a nerd, on purpose.
One far off day from now: no more Campbells.
If I were clairvoyant-of-the-throttled-universe,
thunderous forest of goings-on.
As out of a window you’ve gifted me
I lean out and say hello
grief I missed you.
I missed you like a wrong pronoun.
Where did you, I want to say, go?
Yet you were touching me still, thigh to thigh
as on a subway car.
The jostle seeming neutral like people who
make eye contact but don’t make eyes.
Whether worn outside the face
or come peeking through
I can see you. At war with yourself
& yourself at war with you.
Oh grief I keep trying to make
friends why won’t you look at me.
You bowl of soup.
Don’t be difficult.
Let’s go nowhere like in the old days
because of you.
Smash me down against the rug again.
Or loosed on the wind like a parking ticket.
It’s because of you I know I’m alive.
Yes the yoga teacher said that. Sorry.
Touching can go touch some other thing now.