Diet Coke and Mentos
I left my heart out too long, waiting,
leaving it there for anyone—
its effervescence ran flat like a can of coca cola.
Needed someone to wind up the key in my back
falling in love with any smile directed my way
but when I was put to their lips
they felt no bubbles
and their smiles became mouths in a yearbook photo.
Twisting me just enough turns to
step and stumble my way to someone else.
But when my clockwork gears stopped in front of you
I thought you’d kiss like the others—
you put your lips to mine and only breathed out into me
to put the carbon dioxide back in
before kissing me with a Mentos mint beneath your tongue
and I came alive in an explosion of fizz.
It is in the chilled summer nights
divided into halves of dark and light
by car headlights
and the sky is a colored spin-art painting—
a burst of carnation-poppy-snowball-bush buds
and blooms and petals among clouds
and our half of the globe steers us
toward manmade light-switch hours
and golden specks of window glow
between deepest shades of blue
I know that I am solar-powered
collecting rays in the sunshine hours
like garden lamps strewn among the vegetables.
I rise as the sun sets and sparkle with the stars;
energy and brightness stored
emits as dance steps in stilettos
and lips to glasses—
lips to lips
and I light up the night.
“There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams – not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’ve created fantasies of you
in my mind.
I’ve sculpted you in glass bottles
like sand art
adding layers of color and glitter
filled it up to the rim
and left no breathing space—
stopped you with a cork,
stuffed you in a crackerjack bag
and made you the prize.
Pitched a striped tent
around your figure
and made you the ringleader
of feathered elephants,
but I’ve fed you to the lions.
Dreamed you up of daises,
tied your stems together with blue ribbon;
but a bouquet never looks as good
as it does the moment picked.
I’ve drawn lines on the walls
of your parents’ home
above the last mark your mother made
measuring your height—
you will always fall short.
There are vapor trails in my hair
made by airplanes and space shuttles
lifting off my skull.
I think my mind is always far away—
somewhere in Kyoto
while my professor explains the differences
between pathos, ethos, logos;
I think of their country of origin.
While you take my hand and trace my palm lines
asking if I believe in fate—
no, I believe in satellites.
My heart is on a star.
At Quick Check, you stand
in front of the refrigerated drinks for 6 minutes straight
thinking over your choices.
I grab the first Arizona Iced Tea I see
and wait in the car.
I realize it’s not the falling
but the staying that is difficult.
Everything about this world
is directed towards mobility.
This planet spins and orbits
carrying us with it
pulling our hands through seasons
whether we want snow
Time turns us ever forward
and changes us within and without—
what I forget sometimes is the speed
at which your hair grows
and suddenly I notice it’s much longer.
It makes me ask myself
where I’ve been every millimeter