Trap (Gravity Part III)

10 Jan

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Trap (Gravity Part III)

 

            What you probably don’t know is that I used to wake up next to you, nude, us together, I would lift the blanket just a smile’s length below your back, so that you wouldn’t get cold, and I would look at your bared body, like an old edition of my favorite novel, I would stroke your skin and begin a new sentence in my mind (like Fitzgerald or a bid of 8 to 12), I would admire it, and I would think to myself: what a lucky fuck you are, Jack – despite all the heinous, depraved shit you’ve done, and you still get to wake up with her – remember Joni, the one that liked older Lenny Cohen records like Songs of Love and Hate and New Skin for the Old Ceremony, the one that fucked you in the bathroom when the party grew dull, the one that panhandled for your dope money when you were too sick to be convincing, the one you left standing on the shoreline of Jersey City with the words “no, I don’t love you” and your semen between her thighs – remember Sally’s father and how you took a wooden hammer to his face like you were kneading dough when you found out he that was burning the alabaster of her forearms on the kitchen stove forcing her to wear long-sleeved shirts to school like a junkie in summertime – remember Sunny and Lucy still spanging on 18th street when she was seven months pregnant, remember delivering smack to them even though it made you nauseous to watch how quickly she grabbed at the packs, no need to be inconspicuous, the breathing crescent of her burgeoning stomach covered in small bruises and amaranthine veins, heaving, her face restless, but dead, and Aesop needed you to bring them that cut shit so that they’d buy more, 15 bags in the morning, 15 before heading home, they were good hustlers and they had an old dog, the most important accessory to a homeless beggar because it brings in additional capital from animal lovers and PETA partisans – remember taking care of Connie at the Alphabet City shooting gallery while she shook from cotton fever and paranoia – remember no sentiment, walking high through Union Square as though you were singing a Velvet Underground song at a karaoke bar surrounded by Japanese businessmen with mumbling accents, pronouncing death loftily as only a sixteen year old could – remember the needle breaking off when your hands fidgeted along the torso of the syringe in the Korean deli lavatory in Midtown and remember all the knocking on the door and Mrs. Kim yelling about calling the police and then you pushed the small piece of rusted metal out from underneath the skin, fully anesthetized by the analgesic, it barely hurt, and then you chuckled because it looked like a snake spitting out the skeleton of its prey – remember every lie, every fucking lie, to the guilty and the uninitiated alike, remember every futile attempt to get clean in a bottle, remember the broken contract burning your bridges in an industry you loved, remember how pure you felt, Jack, when you were that stupid cocky fucking kid, yeah, the great writer nodding through each year, detached in life and in the prose, in the poetry, stylistically tight, grammatically sufficient, substantially exciting, but dulled, muffled, etherized, by the dope, by the all-encompassing chase, by the exalting struggle, where do you meet him, where do you get dough for the next batch, Metro Drugs is two blocks away, the rigs are cheaper there and they’ve got the good gauges, the clerk, she smiles and pretends not to know that you’re not diabetic, that you’re really on your way to get off in the Cosi bathroom down 8th street with the good lock where Funny Faced Ralph eventually died, remember the offers from middle-aged gay men who liked twinks (even before Hostess went out of business) desperately considered then denied with forced arrogance – and now you’re here, and she hasn’t heard half the stories you hid so meticulously in your past, in your fiction, she sleeps or pretends to sleep, eyes half closed, drowsy, your fingers on her skin, along the lovely arch of her back, along the tattoo on her hip, along each buttock, slow, smooth, buoyant, then you put your palm on her hair darker than it used to be and you remark to the world softly, staggered, mesmerized and deeply honored: “oh my girl, my beautiful lovely girl, do I finally dare to eat a peach…”

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