Wednesday
Feb082012

Diurnal

Corey Van Landingham




I am done with you. I have said that. A person can
say things that cleave open the roof like a falling tree.
The body can be torn off without ever being touched.

A person can mistake herself for the bee that stings her.
The stinger can be dropped to the ground after it has been
worked out. The body can meet it there, cheek to

wood, when outside the clouds move so quickly
across the sky. A part of it has been torn off too—
the sky. All the bats toppled out of nightfall like it was

an accident. Nothing occurring to more than one creature
is ever an accident. The complicit nature of two.
We are making decisions together. She boils water

for her coffee, my tea. A person can sing in the shower
until her skin feels ready to peel off. She can sit
on the floor until she's convinced herself the ground

will open up for her in the midst of the next big
storm. I can't pull her up from there, or find
a clean towel to dry her hair. I am trying to decide

what to do with her, since a person can be done with.
I take pictures of myself in the mirror with my father's old
Polaroid. A body can be cut in two, so that an envelope

is full of only shoulders and necks. The girl on the floor
can be made to write hospital on two envelopes
with no return address. She doesn't cry from the sting,

though the welt is growing. At times, a body can
no longer see with the lights turned on. I mail
the envelope with my half-bodies and think about

who will open it. Someone can reconstruct our faces
in a brutal manner. Better than we ever could.
When the wind gets louder, I, too, sit down, facing

away from her. I try not to be selfish, always water
the plants at least once before they yellow, grow stiff.
Before all their leaves snap off, the veins become

a map for neglect. I undress slowly so I can see
where she is different from me. She has grown feathers
from her scalp. The howl of a distant wolf claws out

of her throat. But, beyond that, we have the same
birthmark on our nipples, same un-photogenic
mouths. A hole opens up like a tattoo in our chests.