Alix Olson


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I pass a sign on the post
It says "stuffed monkey lost"
I picture some sad face
As she twists with empty arms
And i understand cause i remember.
That october day you followed me home
And in a fit of innocence, i took you in
You were a passionate skeptic with a dimpled smile
You framed yourself so well
You were a perfect 8 x 10
And now i am alphabetizing my correspondence for some reason
And i'm guessing that's just meaning
Keeping track
Of who i've been
You know time is just a grouchy vagrant slowly slouching past
And i'm sneezing at the dust from all the things that haven't lasted
He's laughing at me, time is laughing at me,
Cause in one of my piles, you suddenly just popped up
A letter full of ellipses, like our history, all chopped up
And it says you're crying uncle
Well i was never out to pin you down
But i'm sputtering, i'm stuttering
Your words still blush me for a moment, now,
So i stick you at the back of my stacks where i file your face
In the brown box scribble-scrawled in black "things to fix, someday".
Yeah, we're wrapped in tissue paper in the attic of my mind
You and me
Like a bad homemovie,
Where the whites are sour green
And the family hovers over buttered popcorn
To fill in the details of each scene
And the tape stock in my brain sticks together
It feels so small and undignified of me to try and remember
You, jogging circles around the gas pump in september
Racing back to the car, giddy and spent
And we're kissing, kissing hard
In front of the skinny full-service attendant, frowning
Or your arms in august full of firewood,
A wildflower tucked like a cigarette behind your ear
You're some boy-girl fifties moviestar, in my feature now appearing
Or weeping on my collarbone and pounding on my chest
My half-broken heroine
My restless 8 x 10
Or that last day on the railroad tracks,
We were two little campers
We were swearing we'd write
But with the wryness of counselors
Who had watched this promise happen
Every last night
For years,
And of course we misplaced our pledges,
Folded starshaped in bookbag bottoms somewhere,
"will you remember?" "do you love her?"
Check here.
And i guess our stations changed or our volume faded
All i know is we left so different
Than we came into this,
These lifetimes choose the ones who will educate us
And i guess that's how it always is.
So i buy a pack of marlboros like i never do
And i waste six matches lighting one and think of you
Under the stoplight of this brooklyn fulton street
My anger looks so red and cheap
It just crumples up and blows away
I'm rooted to the spot, surveying its fading
My 8 x 10 is fading
I pass a sign on the post,
It says "stuffed monkey lost"
And i picture some sad face as she twists
With empty arms and i understand,
Cause i remember
The day you followed me home.

Writer/s: Alix Olson / Chris Pureka / Karen Kane / Lyndell Montgomery / Pamela Means / Ubaka Hill